Killer asks for chance at parole
October 25, 2006
Robert Gonzales, 68, has asked the Pardons Board to commute his murder sentence to permit him a chance at parole.
Judge Mike Fondi sentenced Gonzales on Feb. 4, 1986, to life without possible parole for the fatal stabbing of his estranged wife.
He killed Constance Gonzales, 34, on May 3, 1985, in the parking lot outside a Carson City doctor’s office. The murder was committed in front of her teenage daughter.
Gonzales was in Truckee Meadows Hospital in Washoe County for psychiatric help because of his repeated wife abuse for 19 days before the killing. According to court records, the victim served him with both a temporary restraining order and divorce papers on May 2.
Gonzales, of South Lake Tahoe, checked out of the hospital the next day, tracked down the victim and stabbed her to death.
The victim’s sister Shelly Cochran testified during the trial Gonzales broke Constance’s nose two weeks before the stabbing and raped her at gunpoint. She said the victim told her Gonzales had threatened to kill one of their daughters if she didn’t submit.
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He stabbed the woman numerous times before a doctor at the office hit him on the head with a concrete block, knocking him unconscious.
The Pardon’s Board included Gonzales on a list of 11 inmates seeking reduction of their sentences. The board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 14 in the Supreme Court chambers.
The Pardons Board consists of the seven justices of the Nevada Supreme Court, the attorney general and governor who sits as its chair.
The board has the power to grant clemency by reducing inmate sentences or even directing the prison to release a convict.
The board also has the power to restore a former inmate’s civil rights. There are 10 petitions before them in November seeking restoration of rights.
• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.