Supreme Court denies Anselmo parole petition
The Supreme Court has refused to intervene in the decision to deny Michael Anselmo parole from his 1971 murder sentence.
Anselmo, one of the longest serving inmates in the Nevada prison system, had his life sentence commuted in 2005 to give him a chance at parole. But the parole board has refused to release him from that sentence.
He filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in Carson District Court last year charging the board was violating his due process rights and unfairly using parole laws passed long after he was sentenced to keep him in prison.
The high court agreed with the ruling by Carson District Judge Todd Russell that Nevada law clearly makes parole “an act of grace of the state.” Russell ruled that, therefore, Anselmo has no right to a parole no matter what rules the board used in denying him.
“The decision to grant or deny parole lies within the discretion of the parole board,” Russell wrote.
Even if the board eventually grants Anselmo relief on the murder sentence, before he is actually released he must serve a consecutive 10 year sentence for escaping from prison in 1976.
Anselmo was a teenager when he kidnapped Trudy Ann Hiler, 22, as she left the Cal-Neva Lodge in July 1971. She was found two days later under a rock ledge between the casino and Lake Tahoe, stabbed and strangled to death.
Anselmo was an 18 year old busboy at the casino at the time. He led security officers to the victim and, initially, confessed, saying he was under the influence of LSD when he killed her.
His life sentence was commuted to allow the possibility of parole by the Pardon’s Board in December 2005 at the request of then-Justice Bob Rose – who prosecuted Anselmo for the murder while he was Washoe County District Attorney.
“After 34 years in prison, Michael has paid for his crime,” said Rose during the Pardon’s Board hearing.
He has now served nearly 38 years in prison.