Pardons Board goes three-for-three on murder cases | NevadaAppeal.com

Pardons Board goes three-for-three on murder cases

Convicted killer Sandy Shaw listens to her attorney William Terry talk to the Nevada Board of Pardons on Thursday afternoon, June 6, 2002 at the Supreme Court in Carson City. Shaw has spent the last 16 years in prison for the Show-and-Tell killing of James Cotton Kelly in 1986 in Las Vegas. The board denied Shaw's request for clemency.

A 31-year-old woman convicted of the 1986 “show and tell” murder in Las Vegas was encouraged to try again by the Nevada Pardons Board on Thursday.

However, Las Vegas resident Sandy Shaw, who was 15 at the time of the murder of 21-year-old James Cotton Kelly, will not have her second life sentence commuted.

Shaw was convicted of luring Kelly into the desert where she and her two teenage companions killed him.

During trial, several teenagers testified Shaw bragged about Kelly’s slaying and even brought them to the scene and showed them his body.

Shaw’s sentence has already been commuted to grant the possibility of parole and she has been granted parole on the first of two life sentences. She asked the remaining sentence be commuted to allow immediate application to the parole board.

Several justices including Debbie Agosti and Nancy Becker said they don’t believe she has served enough time yet but they urged her to continue her good conduct in prison and return to the pardons board in a year or two.

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The victim’s brother urged she not be released from prison. Her brother, mother, sister and grandmother all asked that she be given a chance.

Agosti said she would be willing to reconsider another application especially given Shaw’s age at the time of the offense.

And Gov. Kenny Guinn added that “this is another one of those cases where we keep asking ourselves how long is long enough.”

Edward Smith, who has been in prison 28 years, asked his sentence for murdering two people in a domestic violence situation be commuted to allow parole because of his failing health. Smith, 74, suffers from congestive heart failure and doctors say he has about two years left to live. He plans to return home to care for his 96-year-old mother.

The commutation gives him immediate access to a parole hearing.

The board also granted releases from prison to two inmates with terminal medical conditions. They are Arnold Breitling, serving time for DUI, and Avon McCraw, serving time for possession of a stolen vehicle.

The board agreed to give Randall Kalal a break and condense all his consecutive terms stemming from an attempted murder and robbery into one sentence. That effectively makes him eligible for parole immediately.

He was involved in a shooting incident at a bar while drunk and, a few minutes later, a convenience store robbery. By the time judges in Elko and White Pine Counties got through with him, he was facing 76 years in prison.