Resendiz trial dates set to begin in September; Supreme Court ruling pending
With the three-year anniversary of the beating death of a Carson City man approaching, attorneys for all sides met in court this week for a status check.
Sammy Resendiz, 25, at the time of his death, was severely beaten at the Round House Inn on Aug. 23, 1998. He suffered several broken bones and head trauma. He died at the hospital a few hours later.
The case has been in limbo since Carson City District Attorney Noel Waters filed an appeal in February 2000 challenging former District Court Judge Michael Fondi’s decision to lower the charges of 10 defendants from first- to second-degree murder. The decision is still under consideration by the Nevada Supreme Court.
Fondi ruled that “bootstrapping” a first-degree murder charge by attempting to prove it happened in the commission of a burglary violates the defendants’ rights. Waters appealed, and defendants and prosecutors have been waiting for a decision since then.
When Fondi retired in August 2000, the case was transferred to Judge Michael Griffin’s courtroom.
Although trial dates are beginning in September, Griffin said Monday it is unlikely the Supreme Court will make a ruling on the appeal before then.
“The judge doesn’t think we are necessarily going to get a ruling on the issue on appeal before the first trial starts. He said absent some kind of concurrence on what we should do here, I will have to seek a stay of trial,” Waters said.
Twelve suspects were originally charged after the beating. Two of those, Alejandro Avila and David Moyle were given probationary sentences after pleading guilty to lesser charges.
Defendants Clint Malone, Rocky Boice Jr., Frederick Fred and Lew Dutchy, will face trial Sept. 11, 2001.
Julian Contreras and Jessica Evans are scheduled for an Oct. 30, 2001 trial. Jaron Malone, Elvin Fred, Sylvia Fred and Michael Kizer are scheduled for trial Jan. 22, 2002.
The remaining 10 defendants all entered not guilty pleas to felony charges of open murder, battery with a deadly weapon and burglary and gross misdemeanor conspiracy to commit battery with a deadly weapon