Supreme Court denies cop killer’s appeal
The Supreme Court has again denied an appeal by John Steven Olausen, convicted of murdering an undercover Reno police officer.
Detective James Hoff was stabbed to death during a drug buy that went wrong in 1979. James Wilson, Olausen and two other men were convicted of the killing. Wilson was sentenced to death, the other three to life in prison.
Olausen’s latest appeal was from a district court order denying his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. He argued his guilty plea was involuntary because the state withheld a potentially exculpatory statement by one of the witnesses and that prosecutors violated the guilty plea agreement by telling him he would be eligible for parole in 15-20 years.
The high court panel of James Hardesty, Michael Douglas and Kris Pickering rejected the appeal, agreeing with the district court that the motion was barred because of the 30-year delay since Olausen’s guilty plea was entered. They said if a new trial were ordered, “the state would suffer great prejudice” because of that delay.
They also ruled that the witness’s statement was consistent with her grand jury testimony and, therefore, no exculpatory evidence was withheld.