Parole Board meets this morning |

Parole Board meets this morning

Fifteen inmates ” including six serving life for murder ” go before the Pardons Board today seeking clemency and a chance for eventual freedom.

Included in the list is John Olausen, in prison 29 years for his part in the murder of undercover Reno police detective James Hoff.

Olausen and Edward Wilson were originally sentenced to death. He has already won a ruling converting that sentence to life without possible parole. Now he is seeking commutation of that sentence to allow the possibility of parole.

Hoff was stabbed to death during an undercover drug deal that went wrong in 1979. Wilson remains on death row. The other two defendants, David Lanni and Fred Stites, are both serving life sentences.

In addition, Robert Stoltz, Lynn Huffman, Roger Davis, Janine Hillman and Thomas Welsh ” all serving life without possible parole ” are on the agenda seeking commutation to allow them the possibility of parole. All are from Washoe County, except Davis who was convicted in White Pine County.

Also on the list seeking clemency is Nolan Klein, a Carson City man convicted of sexual assault. He is asking commutation of his life sentence to a defined number of years.

Other inmates before the board today include several robbers and drug traffickers caught up in Nevada’s tough sentencing rules. One of the latter is Jesus Avelar, who was sentenced to 25 years for trafficking. He is seeking commutation of his sentence to allow for immediate deportation to Mexico.

Two of the inmates are women: Hillman, convicted of first-degree murder, and Amalia Boyer, convicted of second-degree murder. Hillman is now 76 years old.

Almost all of those appearing today have multiple felonies on their record. One Clark County robber, Michael Smith, is serving 21 different sentences for a series of robberies using a deadly weapon. Mark McKinney, also of Clark County, has 15 felony counts on his current case and Thomas Brand has 12 felonies to serve time for. All three are asking their consecutive sentences be changed to run concurrently.

The Pardons Board consists of the governor, attorney general and seven Supreme Court members.

Release is generally granted in cases where an inmate’s health is so bad he or she isn’t a danger to anyone and, often, not expected to live long.

In order to act on any inmate’s petition, the board needs a simple majority vote as long as the governor votes with the majority. If the governor opposes commutation or clemency, his vote is considered a veto.

The meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Supreme Court chambers.

– Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.