Death sentence in Fernley murder spree upheld by Nevada Supreme Court
The Nevada Supreme Court has unanimously upheld the conviction and death sentence for Jeremiah Bean, who shot and killed five people during a crime spree in May 2013.
Bean was convicted of entering the home of Robert and Dorothy Pape in Fernley, shooting both of them in the head then fleeing with some of their property and their truck.
When that truck got stranded on Interstate 80, Bean flagged down Elliezear Graham and shot him to death before driving Graham’s truck back to the Pape residence and setting it on fire.
Then he entered the home of Andie Duff and Lester Leiber, shot Leiber to death and then stabbed Duff to death.
He was convicted of all five murders, use of a deadly weapon, burglary with a firearm, grand larceny, larceny of a motor vehicle, arson, robbery and grand larceny of a firearm.
In November 2015, he was sentenced to death for each of the five murders and consecutive terms of imprisonment for a number of the other offenses.
In his appeal, he argued the district court erred in denying a defense motion that he was mentally impaired but several tests showed he was not significantly impaired because his IQ was consistently between 78 and 83.
He argued the court abused discretion by limiting defense questioning of potential jurors but the justices agreed with the district court in Lyon County that the questions the defense wanted to ask went beyond what was needed to determine if the jurors could apply the law.
They said his motion for a change of venue had to be based on inflammatory pretrial publicity and actual bias on the part of jurors.
“Bean showed neither,” the order states.
They ruled the district court had the right to allow evidence of Bean’s drug use since he stole property, pawned it and used the money to buy drugs.
Finally, the high court rejected his argument that the death penalty violates the 8th Amendment to the Constitution.