Las Vegas Sun

July 25, 2014

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Court rejects man’s appeal of 2nd-degree murder conviction

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Supreme Court has denied the appeal of a man convicted of second-degree murder.

Johnny Esquivel argued in his appeal that he was defending himself when he shot Eddie Wernicke in the back in Las Vegas on Jan. 20, 2011.

The two had an argument and Wernicke threw a chair at Esquivel, who then shot the victim, according to court documents.

According to documents, Esquivel dropped the gun in a trash bin and fled to Mexico. Two months later, he was arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border trying to return to this country.

“No evidence was presented that Esquivel attempted to retreat before he shot the victim in the back, and a rational juror could conclude from these circumstances that Esquivel committed second degree murder,” the court ruling said.

District Court Judge Valerie Adair sentenced Esquivel to 10 years to life with a consecutive term of seven to 20 years.

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