Las Vegas Sun

July 29, 2014

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Court upholds conviction of man in 2007 Las Vegas slaying

The Nevada Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of Adrian McKnight, convicted of robberies and the death of a 62-year old tourist in Las Vegas in 2007.

The court said McKnight, Michael Smith and Ronnie Gibson "participated in a crime spree that involved stealing a car, robbing a woman outside her apartment and robbing a married couple outside their timeshare."

In the last incident, McKnight was charged with picking up the elderly Angel Nieva over his head and throwing him head first to the ground. Nieva died later of head injuries at University Medical Center.

And the three stole the purse, containing $2,000 in cash, of Lydia Nieva.

In his appeal, McKnight argued he was not given warning he had the right to remain silent and to have an attorney present when questioned by detectives. He was in prison at the time for another offense.

The court said McKnight waived his right at the beginning of the recorded interview with detectives in which he confessed to the crimes. He also argued the district court erred in its order that he could not implicate Smith or another party in the crimes. And he said he should have been given a separate trial from Smith.

McKnight and Smith received consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole after their 2009 trial.

Gibson, who was 16 at the time of the crimes, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and robbery and agreed to testify for the prosecution.

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