The Latest: Former detective excused from death row case
RENO, Nev. (AP) — The Latest on a hearing for a Nevada death-row inmate trying to get his execution sentence reduced to life in prison (all times local):
A former Reno detective who says he’s prejudiced in favor of the death penalty is among the 19 prospective jurors dismissed from a panel in Nevada that will decide whether a murder convict who’s been on death row for 34 years should serve life in prison instead.
A federal appeals court upheld 67-year-old Tracy Petrocelli’s (Peht-row-SELL-ee’s) 1982 murder conviction two years ago but ruled his rights were violated during the penalty phase of the trial and ordered a new sentencing hearing.
The retired police detective told Washoe County District Judge Egan Walker during jury selection Monday he isn’t sure that he testified at the original trial but knows the details of the case — the robbery and murder of a Reno car salesman.
Judge Walker excused him after he said he’d love to serve in a death-penalty case, but doesn’t think the defense would want him.
A Nevada inmate on death row for more than 30 years is headed back to court to try to get his execution sentence reduced to life in prison without parole.
A federal appeal court upheld 67-year-old Tracy Petrocelli’s 1982 murder conviction two years ago but ruled his rights had been violated during the penalty phase.
Jury selection for the rehearing of his sentence is scheduled Monday in Washoe District Court in Reno.
Petrocelli was convicted of killing a used car salesman in Reno in 1982 just months after killing his girlfriend in Seattle.
He’s filed multiple appeals since he was sent to death row in 1985.
The appellate court ruled his attorney should have been present when he was interviewed by a psychiatrist who later testified for the prosecution.