The Nevada Supreme Court rejected a petition Wednesday by a Reno woman serving life for turning a blind eye while her boyfriend beat their infant son to death.
Kriseya Labastida was sentenced to life plus 20 years in 1994 for second-degree murder and child neglect. Prosecutors said she did nothing to protect her son, Thunder, from repeated violent abuse by her boyfriend, Michael Strawser. The baby suffered 17 bone fractures, bite marks, facial lacerations and bruises before dying at the age of 4 months. Strawser was convicted of the murder.
She filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, arguing her trial attorneys were ineffective by not presenting several pieces of testimony that could support her claim she knew nothing of the abuse and that Strawser was on drugs that night. But the high court said there was overwhelming evidence of continuing abuse, not just one occurrence.
The high court also rejected a similar appeal by Emery Slayden of Las Vegas who was convicted of murder in the death of his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter Yazmine Doram.
The child suffered a broken femur, scrapes and bruises and died as a result of shaken-baby syndrome. Slayden is serving life without possible parole.
He, too, argued his attorneys failed to properly protect his legal rights and were ineffective. But the high court ruled his claims are disproven by the trial record.
• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 687-8750.