Jury: Fiegehen guilty of murder

left to right Esther Case sister in law, Lorelle Chorkey, and Lorette Myers sister reacts to the verdict.

left to right Esther Case sister in law, Lorelle Chorkey, and Lorette Myers sister reacts to the verdict.

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A Douglas County jury on Tuesday found 24-year-old Christopher Fiegehen guilty of murdering the father of his ex-girlfriend and nearly killing her mother.

Fiegehen now faces a maximum of life in prison without parole. Sentencing is set for 9 a.m. Aug. 19 by Douglas District Judge David Gamble.

It took just minutes Tuesday for members of two families to find out Fiegehen's fate after nearly a month of testimony on the Feb. 10, 2002, stabbing death of Al Chorkey and shooting of his wife, Lorelle, in their home on Becky Avenue in the Johnson Lane area.

The courtroom was silent at 5 p.m. as the jury foreman passed four sheets of papers to a court intern, who passed them to Gamble. The court clerk then read four guilty verdicts -- homicide, attempted homicide with a deadly weapon, burglary with possession of a firearm and home invasion with possession of a firearm.

Fiegehen, wearing a gray suit and sitting next to his attorney, Richard Young, showed no outward emotion as the verdicts were read. He earlier denied killing anyone, saying he stumbled on the victims when he came to the Chorkey house early that morning to pick up their daughter, Alane Dockstader, for a snowboarding trip.

Many Chorkey family members, sitting with Lorelle Chorkey in the courtroom, who were in tears after the verdicts were read, had mixed emotions, according to prosecutor Mark Jackson.

"There's a lot of tears because of the loss of Al, but also happiness that justice has been served," he said.

Members of the Fiegehen family, including his father, Carson City businessman Al Fiegehen, part owner of the Ormsby House and Cubix Corp., and mother, Kristine, also showed tears after the verdicts were read.

Jackson, deputy Douglas County district attorney, said he had confidence in the case against Fiegehen when he began working on it 17 months ago.

He thanked the lead investigator in the case, Dennis Slater of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, for his work. "Investigator Slater, the case agent, just did a fantastic job," he said.

With the four convictions, Fiegehen could get a double life sentence.

Judge Gamble's options will include life with no parole, life with parole at 20 years with a consecutive sentence for assault with a deadly weapon, or a term of 50 years in prison, according to Jackson.

"Murder cases are always difficult," he said. "Justice was definitely served. The jury fulfilled their oath. They deliberated. They looked at the evidence."

Fiegehen was arrested April 9, 2002, by campus security at Vincennes University in Indiana after a nationwide manhunt. Investigators believe he assaulted the Chorkeys after breaking up with Dockstader, who had obtained a restraining order against him.

Fiegehen, a former Carson High School student who was working as a bartender before the murder, claimed he discovered the Chorkeys already wounded and bleeding when he showed up about 5 a.m. on Feb. 10.

But prosecutors pointed to evidence such as a Harley-Davidson knife found next to Al Chorkey's body. The knife matched one bought 10 days earlier by Fiegehen.

Lorelle Chorkey, who recovered despite being shot in the head and chest, identified Fiegehen as her attacker.

"I heard my name being called," she had testified during the trial. "I heard 'Lorelle' and turned and got shot through the chest."

She said she heard the sound of that gunshot and saw three flashes shortly after.

"And then Chris Fiegehen appeared to me wearing a dark ball cap," she testified.

Prior to being named in a murder warrant, Fiegehen had been arrested five times in five years in Carson City on charges ranging from assault on his adoptive father to felony possession of marijuana.

In the assault case, his father declined to testify against him. In the drug case, in 1997, the charge was reduced and he was given one year probation, including substance-abuse evaluation and 80 hours of community service.


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