Elvik re-trial in 1995 Carson City fatal shooting set
The re-trial of Peter Quinn Elvik on murder charges has been tentatively set for Oct. 10 in Carson District Court.
Elvik’s 1996 conviction in the shooting death of William Gibson was overturned in federal court because Elvik was 14 at the time of the shooting. A three-judge panel at the 9th Circuit Court ruled that, because of Elvik’s age, he was legally presumed not to understand his actions were wrong. The panel headed by U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro ruled jurors should have been instructed that they must specifically find that Elvik understood the nature of his actions and, without that instruction, it was much easier for the panel to convict him.
Elvik served 20 years in prison before he was released on parole. He is now living in California.
Carson District Attorney Jason Woodbury said after the 9th Circuit ruling that he has to retry the case because, otherwise, “it would legally be as if he was never convicted.” He said even if Elvik doesn’t return to prison, it wouldn’t be right to allow him to walk away without a conviction on his record and parole conditions for the rest of his life.
Elvik is being defended by the Public Defender’s Office this time around. Woodbury said he and the defense will be discussing how to proceed but that the Oct. 10 date may be pushed back by those discussions.
Elvik was convicted of shooting Gibson and stealing his weapons and vehicle from the Carson City gun range on Aug. 31, 1995.
Woodbury’s job in rebuilding the murder case is complicated by the fact that key witnesses from the first trial are now deceased. That includes Gibson’s wife, June; stepson, Robert Wegg; and crime scene investigator and Carson Sheriff’s investigator Dan Nuckolls.
Woodbury said he believes their testimony from the first trial should be re-admitted in a second trial.