Las Vegas Sun

April 18, 2014

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Justices uphold conviction in Las Vegas shotgun slaying

Although there was an error in Justice Court, the Nevada Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction of Michael Patterson, convicted of killing a man in 2007 in an argument over a dog in Las Vegas.

Patterson complained that his rights were violated when he was not permitted to substitute his hired attorney for a court-appointed lawyer on the night before a preliminary hearing in Justice Court.

The state Supreme Court said there was a violation of Patterson’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel of choice, but it was a harmless error. The court ruled that Patterson did not demonstrate how the error would have resulted in a different result at trial.

The victim, Bobby Wilkerson, had agreed to buy a dog for $500 from Patterson but was unable to pay for it, according to court records. The two agreed to meet in the parking lot of a church in the 3400 block of Mojave Road, near Desert Inn Road and McLeod Drive, in Las Vegas. Wilkerson, according to court documents, had planned to return the animal but was killed by a shotgun blast to the head.

Patterson was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole and a consecutive term of one to 20 years for use of a deadly weapon.

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