Prosecution rests in murder trial
September 13, 2002
After nine days of testimony, the prosecution rested its case Thursday in the murder trial of a Carson City man accused of a 1998 motel-room killing.
Rocky Boice Jr., 23, is on trial in the death of Sammy Resendiz, 25, who died after a beating at the Round House Inn. Eight others are scheduled to be tried on charges of first-degree murder, burglary, battery with the use of a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit battery.
District Attorney Noel Waters laid out a case intended to prove Boice and 11 others went to the motel room for revenge against a man they believe slapped a relative, Jessica Evans, earlier in the evening.
Once at the motel, the target of the attack, Israel “Muppet” Ralla, was gone, but Resendiz, Carlos Lainez and Carolee Simpson remained.
At least five witnesses testified Boice and the others rushed into the room after Evans knocked on the door and immediately began beating Lainez and Resendiz.
Waters charged Boice and the others under Nevada’s felony murder statute which says murder during the commission of a burglary is first-degree murder. Under the statute, Waters need only prove Boice and the others were in the room to commit a burglary — defined as entry into a dwelling with the intent to commit any underlying felony.
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Boice contends when he entered the room and asked for Ralla, Resendiz threatened to shoot him and appeared to be going for a weapon Boice believed was hidden under a pillow.
Because of Resendiz’s affiliation with the street gang Eastwood Tokers, the defense claims Boice was aware of the violent reputation of the gang and only went armed to the room to confront Ralla about the assault on Evans.
The defense plans present its first witness today.
Three of the original 12 people charged in the slaying have pleaded guilty to lesser charges.
Eight other defendants in the case are expected to be tried during the next seven months: Frederick Fred, Lew Dutchy, Jaron Malone, Clint Malone, Mike Kizer, Elvin Fred, Sylvia Fred and Evans.