This judicial outrage concerns Ms. Kirstin Blaise Lobato convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sexual penetration of a dead body in Las Vegas on October 6, 2006. She was originally convicted of murder in 2002, but her conviction was overturned by the Nevada Supreme Court. She was convicted of manslaughter and corpse mutilation offenses on retrial. Her sentence now stands at 13 to 35 years in prison. Yet both her convictions are both bogus and outrageous. Ms. Lobato is held responsible for the death of Duran Bailey, a homeless man, murdered on July 8, 2001. Mr. Bailey’s stabbed body was found near a trash dump in Las Vegas.
A few weeks after the murder (July 20, 2001) Laura Johnson, a Lincoln County juvenile probation officer, called the Las Vegas police and told them that a teacher related to her Ms. Lobato used a knife to fend off a sexual assault in Las Vegas. Due the presence of presumed knife wounds in both cases and the stabbed individual was an African American male, Las Vegas detectives immediately assumed that Ms. Lobato killed Duran Bailey. They perversely gathered no more evidence on the case except to try to prove the involvement of Ms. Lobato in this crime. They detectives immediately drove to Panaca where Ms. Lobato was presently staying, questioned her, and arrested her.
During the questioning Ms. Lobato thought the detectives were asking about the incident that occurred around May 25 when she repelled an attempted sexual assault using a butterfly knife. The details of this incident differed sharply from those of Duran Bailey’s murder. Among those details was that the attacker of Ms. Lobato got away alive. Also Ms. Lobato’s assailant was stabbed while above her. Expert testimony demonstrated Mr. Bailey was stabbed in a prone position.
The investigation into Baileys’ death was flawed. Ms. Lobato was suggested as a perpetrator by a double hearsay evidence. Investigators did not investigate the two people involved in this hearsay testimony. Detectives ignored differences between Ms. Lobato’s account of her repelled rape and the murder scene of Mr. Bailey. Detectives did not investigate the people who had conflicts with Mr. Bailey. In fact Mr. Bailey was murdered eight miles from where Ms. Lobato repelled her assailant.
Ms. Lobato was in Panaca, Nevada, at the time of the murder. Many eyewitnesses from the town testify to this fact. Contrary to prosecutors, Ms. Lobato was not in Las Vegas to purchase methamphetamine, which she used around that time. Methamphetamine was easily available in the Panaca area. Moreover there is no evidence that Mr. Bailey sold drugs, or that Ms. Lobato and Mr. Bailey met or even knew each other. Mr. Bailey occasionally used cocaine but not amphetamine.
Moreover no physical evidence links Ms. Lobato to the murder of Mr. Bailey. Evidence gathered from Ms. Lobato’s apartment and car demonstrate no blood or link to the murder scene of Mr. Bailey. Shoeprints found at the scene of the murder of Mr. Bailey conclusively are not those of Ms. Lobato. Tire tracks at the Bailey murder scene did not match the tire tracks’s of Ms. Lobato’s car. DNA on cigarette butts found at the Bailey murder is conclusively not that of Ms. Lobato, but of Duran Bailey and an unknown person.
Even the wound patterns are inconsistent with Ms. Lobato’s knife. Examination by forensic evidence demonstrates the wounds on Mr. Bailey were made by a barber shop scissors and not by Ms. Lobato’s butterfly knife.
The prosecutors claim Ms. Bailey was killed in the early morning hours of July 8. Otherwise Ms. Lobato has an airtight alibi. Yet medical examiner M.E. Simms provided testimony that reveals that the probability Mr. Bailey died in the early morning of July 8 extremely improbable. The normal distribution of the medical time frame of Mr. Bailey’s death provides a probability of under 0.01 per cent that Mr. Bailey died before dawn.
Moreover the time frame of Mr. Simms was based on the average decomposition of dead bodies. In the hot dry day of July 8 a dead body would decompose faster. Thus the presence of Ms. Lobato at the murder scene is not only improbable but impossible.
The trials of Ms. Lobato were biased and tainted in extreme. The judge Ms. Valorie Vega excluded relevant defense evidence while permitting the prosecution to present highly dubious evidence. The judge also permitted hearsay prosecution witnesses while denying defense witnesses who spoke to Ms. Lobato around the time of the Bailey murder from testifying to everything they knew. The prosecutor William Kephart was permitted to give a loud hypothetical hysterical and emotional closing argument to imply the guilt of Ms. Lobato without the existence of evidence. Mr. Kephart and the other prosecutor essentially only argued for the possibility of the guilt of Ms. Lobato ignoring gigantic holes in this case. Mr. Kephart, an experienced yet demented and debased prosecutor, was obviously trying to win a conviction without factual basis.
Since the trial lawyers for Ms. Lobato have presented even more evidence that proves Ms. Lobato did not kill or mutilate Mr. Bailey. Yet Ms. Lobato remains in prison.
The injustice to Ms. Lobato is a dark spot on the Nevada and American system of justice. This spot will only get bigger until Ms. Lobato is released from her unjust incarceration.
Hans Sherrer Kirstin Blaise Lobato’s Unresonable Conviction (Seattle, 2007).