Appeal of cop-killer conviction rejected

The latest in a long series of appeals in the case involving a Reno narcotics officer’s slaying was rejected this week by the Nevada Supreme Court.

John Olausen is one of four people convicted in the murder of undercover officer James Hoff in 1979. He and two others — David Lani and Fred Stites — are serving life sentences without possible parole for the killing.

Edward Thomas Wilson, labeled the ringleader in the crime, was sentenced to death and is now the longest-serving death row inmate in Nevada.

The state Supreme Court upheld the district court decision dismissing Olausen’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus, pointing out that he filed the petition more than 26 years after his original appeal of the conviction. The order states that the petition is “successive because he had previously litigated several post-conviction petitions for relief and it constituted an abuse of the writ as he raised claims new and different from those raised in his previous petitions.”

The order signed by justices Jim Hardesty, Michael Douglas and Michael Cherry says the petition again challenges the denial of his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. They say that was ruled on in his original appeal.

The petition says Olausen has identified new evidence in his case, but the order points out that he didn’t actually identify any new evidence.

The court also rejected his claim that he was innocent of murder.

Olausen originally was sentenced to death along with Wilson but was resentenced to life in prison in 1989.


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