Defense set to begin in Biela rape-murder trial
RENO – Defense attorneys are set to begin their case in the Reno trial of a man who could face the death penalty in the slaying of college student Brianna Denison, and the sexual assaults of two other women.
Lawyers for James Biela plan to begin their defense this morning in Washoe County District Court.
The 28-year-old Biela has pleaded not guilty to murder and sexual assault charges in the abduction, rape and strangulation of 19-year-old Denison in January 2008 near the University of Nevada, Reno.
Biela also is accused of sexually assaulting two other college students in October and December 2007.
Attorneys say the jury could get the case to begin deliberations Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday.
Secret Witness turns 40 this year – and it’s helped solve many of Northern Nevada’s most violent crimes
Secret Witness tips have played a pivotal role in solving some of the most violent crimes the greater Northern Nevada region has seen. To date, Secret Witness has paid out more than $300,000 in rewards to anonymous tipsters. Rewards range from $50 (graffiti/tagging) to $1,500 (armed robbery) to $2,500 (murder).