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Update 2017: The case was dismissed December 29, 2017

Update 2014: The Nevada Supreme Court has granted a motion to allow for a continuance for the oral arguments requested in Kirstin Lobato's case scheduled for September 9, 2014

Update 2011: Habeas Corpus petition filed on May 5, 2010

Kirstin Lobato Trial

Convicted killer turned down plea deal

HEADLINES BELOW:
Lobato found guilty of murder
Closing Arguments
Expert's testimony: Evidence excludes Lobato from scene
'Sensitive' defendant denies mutilation slaying charge
Witness: Man raped her week before his slaying
Informant says Lobato boasted
Attack reconstructed in court testimony
Prosecutor says conversation ties teen to killing

Kirstin Lobato

Prior to her conviction on a first-degree murder charge, Kirstin Lobato turned down a deal that offered three years in prison for the killing and sexual mutilation of a homeless man.

Defense attorney Gloria Navarro said Tuesday that Lobato, who now faces at least 40 years in prison when she is sentenced July 2, refused to plead guilty because she knew she was innocent.

On May 18, a Clark County jury convicted Lobato, 19, of first-degree murder and sexual penetration of a corpse in the slaying of Duran Bailey, who was bludgeoned and stabbed to death behind a West Flamingo Road trash bin last summer.

His penis was severed after death.

"She placed her belief in the justice system, and she ended up being convicted of a crime that she did not commit," -- United States District Court Judge Gloria Navarro, Las Vegas Journal-Review, May 29, 2002

Special Public Defender Philip Kohn and Gloria Navarro filed a motion Tuesday seeking a new trial for Lobato, saying a crucial witness in the Panaca woman's trial is a proven liar.

Korinda Martin told jurors she and Lobato were at the Clark County Detention Center and Lobato confessed to her about killing Bailey.

"She was boasting about it," Martin testified.

Korinda Martin, a former nurse serving time for robbing and coercing one of her patients, said Lobato had described Bailey as her drug connection.

Now, Lobato's attorneys say they have proof from police that Martin perjured herself during the trial.

"She was the linchpin, the star witness, the most important witness," Navarro said. "She is the only one who connects my client to the scene."

Navarro said when Korinda Martin testified, Kohn grilled her about the possibility that Martin had fabricated letters sent to a judge on Martin's behalf in her own criminal case.

"She denied it under oath, and she was very convincing," Navarro said.

But the defense attorneys subsequently had the letters examined by Las Vegas police. Navarro said a handwriting analysis by police shows that Korinda Martin did fabricate the letters.

"Clearly, she would say anything to help herself; she would even commit perjury," Navarro said.

Clark County Chief Deputy District Attorney William Kephart has said Martin's account of the Lobato confession was highly credible and was one part of a litany of facts showing Lobato is guilty.

During his closing argument in the trial, Kephart said Lobato met up with Bailey when Lobato was at the end of a three-day drug binge.

During the trial, authorities played for the jury a taped statement in which Lobato told police about stabbing at a man's penis while fending off a sexual assault in Las Vegas. They also presented Martin's testimony and a handful of witnesses who said Lobato made other incriminating statements about cutting off a man's penis.

The defense contended those statements related to another incident and that Lobato never met Bailey.

Not mentioned in the defense's motion for a new trial is the fact that during their deliberations, the jury in the case sent some seemingly curious notes to District Judge Valorie Vega.

The jurors "were scared of her (Lobato's) family," Navarro said, not elaborating about the contents of the notes.

Also not in the motion is the fact that the jury in the Lobato case chose to deliberate until nearly 2 a.m. on a Saturday before returning its verdict. Jurors were given that option by Vega, who also gave them a chance to complete their deliberations at a later date.

Navarro said it's possible that those issues could be the subject of future appeals.

Also in their motion, Kohn and Navarro argue that Lobato deserves a new trial because of a decision to limit the testimony of a defense forensics expert who was going to say there was no physical evidence tying Lobato to the bloody crime scene.


Lobato found guilty of murder:
Teen-ager faces July 2 sentencing hearing in homeless man's slaying

In a verdict read shortly before 3 a.m. Saturday, a Lincoln County teen-ager was found guilty of murder in the death last year of a homeless man whose penis was severed after death.

Kirstin Lobato, 19, stood still as the verdict was read in the courtroom of District Judge Valorie Vega.

But within minutes, she sat at the defense table and wept. A tissue in her hand, she looked toward the ceiling of the courtroom.

Lobato had been free on house arrest during her trial on charges arising from the July 8 slaying of Duran Bailey, 44. Following her conviction, she was placed back in custody.

She will remain in the Clark County Detention Center pending her July 2 sentencing hearing before Vega.

The prosecution and defense have agreed to recommend a sentence of 40 to 100 years in prison for the first-degree murder conviction. Lobato could have been sentenced to life without possibility of parole on that count.

Jurors also found her guilty of sexual penetration of a dead body, a felony carrying a possible sentence of five years to life.

Jurors heard seven days of testimony before listening to closing arguments that ended Friday night. Vega then told jurors they could go home and commence deliberations at a later date.

Instead, jurors opted to start their deliberations at about 9 p.m. The jury reached its verdict about five hours later.

Bailey was killed behind a trash bin in a parking lot on West Flamingo Road. Prosecutors had offered several possible motives for the crime.

They said Lobato was at the end of a three-day methamphetamine binge when the slaying occurred, and speculated she had agreed to trade sex for drugs. The killing might have occurred when Bailey failed to keep his end of the bargain, prosecutors said.

They also said Lobato, who was sexually abused as a child, might have acted because of her anger toward men.

Regardless, prosecutors said they believe Lobato was on her knees in front of Bailey when she produced a butterfly knife and stabbed him in the testicles. This incapacitated Bailey, and left him unable to defend himself as he suffered numerous other stab wounds, including a potentially fatal one to the neck.

Prosecutors said Lobato then retrieved a baseball bat and beat Bailey to death. After this, she cut off his penis and stabbed him repeatedly in the anus.

"In this case, there was a tremendous amount of evidence in bits and pieces," Chief Deputy District Attorney William Kephart said after the verdict was read. "The jury seemed to be able to put them all together."

Special Public Defender Phil Kohn told jurors there was no physical evidence that tied Lobato to either the crime scene or to Bailey. He noted that a bloody footprint three sizes larger than the shoes Lobato wears was found next to Bailey's body.

He also reminded jurors that another woman accused Bailey of raping her just a week before the slaying.

During the trial, Lobato testified that she never met Bailey and was not present when he died.

Prosecutors then confronted her with the statements of police and others who said she told them about stabbing a man in the penis. Lobato said she was referring to an unrelated incident in which she stabbed at a man's groin area while she fended off a May 2001 sexual assault near Boulder Highway.


Closing Arguments: Jurors deliberate severed penis slaying

Prosecutor stresses suspect's statements; defense notes lack of evidence

A Clark County prosecutor told a jury Friday that "words from the murderer's mouth" show Lincoln County teen-ager Kirstin Lobato is guilty of killing a Las Vegas homeless man last summer.

Chief Deputy District Attorney William Kephart said the 19-year-old slaying suspect's statements claiming that she had cut off a man's penis prove she killed Duran Bailey, a homeless man found with his penis severed in Las Vegas last summer.

"There's direct evidence in this case, and it came directly from the murderer's mouth," Kephart said. "It doesn't get any more direct than that."

But Lobato's attorney, speaking late Friday during closing arguments of Lobato's murder trial, offered a far different interpretation of Lobato's statements to witnesses.

Special Public Defender Philip Kohn said that when Lobato told police and others that she had sliced at a man's penis with a knife, she was actually talking about an event in which she fended off a sexual assault from a yet-to-be identified attacker.

That May 2001 incident, Kohn said, had nothing to do with Bailey's July killing and occurred across town from where Bailey's body was found.

"She has never met Duran Bailey and Duran Bailey was not the man who attacked her in May," Kohn said. "There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that connects my client with Duran Bailey."

Those two arguments were presented to the jury late Friday in the closing arguments of the Lobato trial in District Judge Valorie Vega's courtroom. Jurors began deliberating the case at about 8:30 p.m.

The jury will have to decide whether Lobato is the individual who killed Bailey behind a trash bin off West Flamingo Road on July 8. The killer also stabbed Bailey in the neck, bludgeoned him to death, cut off his penis and stabbed him repeatedly in the rectum.

According to police, in the days after the slaying, Lobato told both friends and police she had cut off a man's penis in Las Vegas.

Of those statements to police Detective Thomas Thowsen, Kohn said:

"Two people talking about two different incidents."

Prosecutors said, however, that explanation simply doesn't make sense. Deputy District Attorney Sandra DiGiacomo said there are no police or medical reports in the valley indicating anyone other than Bailey had his penis cut in such a manner.

"You've just seen the largest coincidence you will ever see in your life," Kephart said of the defendant's alibi. "You've heard about this (someone getting their penis cut off) maybe one other time. What was her name? Lorena Bobbitt."

Lorena Bobbitt was found innocent by reason of insanity in 1994 after arguing she severed the penis of her husband, John Wayne Bobbitt, because he was abusive.

Kephart said he believes Lobato was at the end of a three-day methamphetamine binge and desperate for drugs when she ran into Bailey, who was an accused rapist and abuser of crack cocaine. Kephart told the jury that it's possible that Lobato offered sex for drugs but killed Bailey when he didn't deliver.

Or, the prosecutors said the motive for the attack could have been what they say is Lobato's deep hatred of men given the fact that she has been sexually abused by various men since she was a child.

In requesting an acquittal, Kohn compared Lobato to the victims of the Salem, Mass., witch hunt, during which numerous innocent women were burned at the stake.

"Thirty-six women were put to death for being witches," Kohn said. "Women who were different, who were odd and who said stupid things."

In an impassioned argument, Kohn told the jury that the physical evidence in the case should clear Lobato. He said a bloody footprint at the crime scene was nearly three sizes larger than the shoe size Lobato wears and that no other evidence, no fingerprints or DNA at the crime scene or in Lobato's possession, links Lobato to the crime in any way.

"Those bloody footprints are throughout the crime scene, and they do not match my client," Kohn said. "That's reasonable doubt right there."

Lobato could face life without possibility of parole if convicted of first-degree murder and sexual penetration of a dead human body.


Expert's testimony limited: Forensics specialist

Evidence excludes Lobato from scene

An expert hired by attorneys for slaying suspect Kirstin Lobato says physical evidence in the case should serve to exclude Lobato as the killer of a Las Vegas homeless man.

But a jury in the Lobato murder trial never got to hear most of what Louisiana forensics expert George Schiro had to say on Thursday.

This was because the district judge in the Lobato trial, Valorie Vega, agreed with a prosecution request to limit much of Schiro's testimony.

"There is no evidence to tie Ms. Lobato to the crime scene," Schiro said in an interview in a hallway of the Clark County Courthouse. "I feel the evidence is even exclusionary on her behalf."

Authorities disagree. Prosecutors allege that Lobato has made several incriminating statements to witnesses, including the police, regarding the killing of Las Vegas homeless man Duran Bailey off West Flamingo Road in July. The man was bludgeoned and stabbed, then had his penis severed after death.

Lobato, 19, is being tried on charges of murder with use of a deadly weapon and sexual penetration of a dead body. She denied killing Bailey when she testified in court Wednesday.

Outside of court on Thursday, Schiro said a bloody footprint found at the crime scene was nearly three sizes larger than the shoe size Lobato wears. He said none of her fingerprints were at the scene and that authorities found in her possession no physical evidence linking her to the crime.

He said a piece of chewing gum found at the scene had Bailey and someone else's DNA on it, but not Lobato's.

But in court, Clark County Chief Deputy District Attorney William Kephart questioned some of Schiro's qualifications and he successfully argued that prosecutors did not have enough time to prepare witnesses that he said could contradict Schiro's testimony.

Vega ended up allowing Schiro to testify about his opinions regarding chemical tests for blood in Lobato's car. Authorities said materials found in the woman's car may have been blood, but Schiro believes it was not human blood.

Schiro also was allowed to testify about how fingerprints are lifted.

Testimony in the trial is expected to continue today.


'Sensitive' defendant denies mutilation slaying charge

Slaying suspect Kirstin Lobato tearfully told a jury Wednesday that she has been a victim of sexual abuse since she was a young girl, but she denied a prosecutor's suggestion that this prompted her to murder and mutilate a man last summer.

"I'm a sensitive person," Lobato said.

"The thought of killing someone really bothers me."

Lobato, 19, spent nearly three hours on the witness stand Wednesday as she spoke in her own defense during the sixth day of testimony in her murder trial.

The Lincoln County woman is charged with murder with the use of a deadly weapon and sexual penetration of a dead body in the July slaying of Las Vegas homeless man Duran Bailey, whose body was found to the rear of a West Flamingo Road trash bin July 8.

Bailey, an accused rapist and abuser of crack cocaine, had been stabbed in the scrotum while alive. After his bludgeoning and stabbing death, his penis was severed and his rectum was slashed.

Lobato, soft-spoken, calm and wearing a business suit, testified that she had nothing to do with Bailey's death.

"Duran Bailey never attacked me," Lobato testified.

"That's always been my position."

In what would prove to be a remarkable day of testimony in the courtroom of District Judge Valorie Vega, Lobato also revealed the details of four sexual assaults against her. She repeatedly clashed with Clark County prosecutor William Kephart over facts, and even read two poems she wrote to a jury hearing the case.

"Trapped in my reclusive life, solitude cuts me like a knife," Lobato once wrote in a poem.

"So many questions, so little time," Lobato wrote in another. "Sometimes I wonder if I'm losing my mind."

The admitted methamphetamine addict acknowledged telling police that she had stabbed at a man's penis with a knife while fending off a sexual assault in Las Vegas. But, she said, this incident had nothing to do with Bailey's death.

She said nearly two months before Bailey's July slaying, she was attacked by an unidentified man in a Budget Suites parking lot near Boulder Highway.

During this incident, Lobato said her attacker "bum-rushed" her as she got out of her car in the parking lot.

"I started to cry and I said, 'No,' " Lobato said.

"He slapped me and said, 'Shut up, bitch.' "

She said during a struggle with the man, she was able to retrieve a butterfly knife and fend him off by stabbing at his groin.

"I just reached for whatever I could grab down there, and I cut," Lobato said.

Her attorney, Special Public Defender Phil Kohn, asked whether she knew if she had cut off the man's penis in the Budget Suites incident.

"I'm pretty sure I didn't," Lobato said.

"I didn't have anything in my hand to throw or drop or anything else."

Despite the seeming similarities between this account and Bailey's slaying two months later, Lobato said she was certain she was not confusing the two incidents. She said she had nothing to do with Bailey's death, adding that at the time Bailey was killed, she was at her parents' home in Panaca.

"Did you kill him?" Kohn asked.

"No," Lobato said.

Under questioning from Kephart, the chief deputy district attorney made it clear he viewed Lobato's testimony as fiction. Kephart told Lobato he believed she killed Bailey after she tried to buy drugs from the man, who demanded sex in return.

"You went on July 8th to meet your connection, Duran, to buy drugs, didn't you?" Kephart asked.

"That's incorrect," Lobato responded.

"You killed him because he wanted sex that night?" the prosecutor said.

"That's absolutely wrong," Lobato said.

"You bent down in front of Duran Bailey to make him believe you were going to give him oral sex, and then you stabbed him in the bottom of the scrotum," Kephart said.

"No," Lobato said.

Lobato said she never reported the Budget Suites incident to police because when she had told authorities of previous sexual assaults in her life, "They basically blew me off."

"It's been my experience that it doesn't do any good," Lobato said.

Lobato wept as she told of being the victim of repeated sexual abuse as a young child. She said her mother's boyfriend repeatedly molested her. The man eventually served prison time.

Lobato said at the age of 13, she was violently raped in the desert by a past boyfriend. At the age of 17, she said, she was sexually assaulted by her best friend's father after the man supposedly slipped something in her drink.

Kephart then insinuated that these incidents could have led Lobato to kill Bailey in a rage.

"You've had some pretty bad experiences with men, haven't you?" the prosecutor asked.

"Yes," Lobato said, but after acknowledging this, the defendant once again repeated that she did not kill Bailey.


Murder Trial: Witness: Man raped her week before his slaying

19-year-old defendant might take stand in her own defense

The man Kirstin Lobato is accused of killing was a crack-smoking rapist who attacked a Las Vegas woman just a week before he was slain, according to courtroom testimony Tuesday.

Also during Lobato's murder trial on Tuesday, a defense attorney confirmed that Lobato might take the witness stand today to testify in her own defense.

"It's a strong possibility," Clark County Deputy Special Public Defender Gloria Navarro said when asked whether her client would testify.

Lobato, 19, is charged with murder in the death of Duran Bailey, 44. Bailey's body was found behind a trash bin in a Flamingo Road parking lot last July.

Testimony in Lobato's trial over the past week has indicated Bailey was subjected to a brutal attack, and that his killer severed his penis and stabbed him in the rectum after death.

Police have testified during the trial that incriminating statements Lobato made to police detectives and others led to her being identified as a suspect.

When defense attorneys began presenting witnesses Tuesday, the first witness they called was a Las Vegas woman who reported being raped by Bailey just a week before he was found slain.

The woman described Bailey as a homeless man who smoked crack cocaine. She said she had consensual intercourse on numerous occasions with Bailey, with whom she would often trade sex for drugs.

A week before the slaying, the woman said Bailey slapped her in the face. The woman said she then told Bailey she wanted nothing more to do with him.

But within days, Bailey forced his way into her apartment off West Flamingo Road and raped her at knifepoint, she said.

"He pushed me down on the bed and I said 'No,' " the woman testified. "He said, 'I'm going to get what I want this time,' and he proceeded to rape me."

The woman said she was badly beaten by Bailey but that she did not immediately report the matter to police.

"I had a warrant," the woman explained.

Eventually, though, she did report the rape and police told her they were investigating the allegations when Bailey was found killed.

The woman testified that she went to the scene of the slaying after hearing a news report about the discovery of the body. She said she wanted to see whether the dead man was Bailey.

"I was curious if it was him," she said.

On cross-examination, Clark County Deputy District Attorney Sandra DiGiacomo sought to forestall any effort by the defense to throw suspicion on the witness.

"Did you kill Duran?" DiGiacomo asked.

"No," the woman replied.

"Did you ask anyone to kill Duran?" the prosecutor asked.

"No," the woman said.


Informant: Lobato boasted; Inmate kept log of her conversations with murder suspect

A jailhouse informant told jurors Friday that Kirstin Lobato took pride in giving graphic descriptions of how she killed and mutilated a man last summer in Las Vegas.

"She was boasting about it," said the witness, Korinda Martin.

Korinda Martin, 22, said she met Lobato on July 23 at the Clark County Detention Center and kept a log of her conversations with the murder suspect.

The informant said she recalled one conversation in which Lobato commented, "Yeah, I did an overkill, but he deserved it."

Martin said Lobato made the comment after prosecutors filed a new charge in her murder case: sexual penetration of a dead human body.

In other conversations, Martin said, Lobato admitted cutting off the victim's penis and stabbing him in the anus. The witness said she contacted authorities after Lobato said she planned to avoid a murder conviction by falsely claiming the victim had tried to rape her.

"I didn't feel that was right," Martin said.

Martin, who is serving a prison term for robbery and coercion, said Lobato knew the victim and had picked him up on West Flamingo Road because she wanted methamphetamine.

"She referred to him as Darrin," the informant said.

Lobato is accused of killing Las Vegas homeless man Duran Bailey, 44. The man was stabbed and beaten, and his genitalia were mutilated after his death.

"You've never mentioned 'Darrin' before today, have you?" Special Public Defender Philip Kohn asked Korinda Martin during cross-examination Friday.

"When I was being interviewed? No," the witness replied.

Upon further questioning by Kohn, Martin also denied learning details about the slaying from news accounts. She said she saw no television news in jail, and Lobato clipped out all newspaper articles about the case before other inmates could read them.

Earlier in the trial Friday, prosecutors played a taped statement in which Lobato confessed to police that she had cut off a man's penis while fending off a sexual assault.

A weeping Lobato, 19, told police she was in the midst of a three-day methamphetamine binge and that she remembered little of what actually happened.

"I grabbed for as much as I could hold down there," Lobato told Las Vegas police Detective Thomas Thowsen in a recorded statement made prior to her arrest in July. "I just remember grabbing as much as I could, but I don't remember if I used an upward or downward motion."

Prosecutors contend that these words prove Lobato, of Panaca, is the person who killed Bailey in a West Flamingo Road parking lot in July.

But Lobato's defense attorneys have said these comments were not in reference to Bailey's slaying. In her opening statement, Deputy Special Public Defender Gloria Navarro said Lobato was referring to an incident in which she fended off a sexual assault during a Las Vegas encounter with a man in May, an incident Navarro said occurred months before Bailey was slain.

Lobato told the detective in her taped statement that she was severely impaired by three days of methamphetamine consumption at the time she fended off the sexual assault.

She said the man she fended off had attempted to sexually assault her when she pulled out a knife and defended herself.

She then said it was possible that she had also struck him with a baseball bat. "I have a baseball bat that I keep behind my (car) seat," Lobato said.

Lobato, who cried throughout the police statement, also revealed she was the victim of extensive sexual abuse as a child.

"When I was 5 years old, I was tortured every day for a year by my mother's boyfriend," Lobato said. "She knew about it, but she allowed it to happen."

After the taped statement was played, Thowsen testified that when he arrested Lobato at her Lincoln County home, she made other incriminating statements to her parents.

"Mom, I did it," the detective quoted her as saying. "I have to do what I have to do."

Lobato is charged with both murder with use of a deadly weapon and sexual penetration of a dead human body. If convicted of either charge, she could face a potential life sentence. The defense's case is expected to be presented in court sometime next week, and several witnesses are expected to say that Lobato was not in Las Vegas at the time of the killing.


Mutilation Slaying Trial: Attack reconstructed in court testimony

Woman told people she cut off man's penis in LV, witnesses testify

The person who killed homeless man Duran Bailey last summer unleashed a horrifying attack with blatant sexual overtones, a medical examiner said in court Thursday.

Testifying in the murder trial of Kirstin Lobato, Medical Examiner Lary Simms said he was responsible for performing an autopsy on Bailey in July, about a day after Bailey's body was found in a West Flamingo Road parking lot.

Simms said the autopsy revealed Bailey, 44, had been stabbed in the testicles while alive. Simms said at the time this wound was suffered, Bailey's pants likely had been pulled down around his knees.

In addition to inflicting this wound, Bailey's killer broke both of his upper and lower jaws, knocking out six of his teeth, Simms said. Bailey's head had been crushed from blunt force trauma, possibly from being struck by a bat, and he had been stabbed in the forehead, chin and neck.

Then, after Bailey died, his killer sliced off his penis and stabbed him in the rectum, Simms said.

"There was a gaping large wound to the scrotum. ... The penis was amputated at the base," Simms said.

This violent attack, authorities say, was carried out by the diminutive and slender Lobato, a 19-year-old Panaca woman who is both soft-spoken and well-dressed in court.

Lobato adamantly denies involvement in the crime.

Prosecutors, however, say Lobato was easily identified as a prime suspect in the case after she told several people she had cut off a man's penis in Las Vegas.

In the opening arguments of the trial, defense attorney Gloria Navarro said these comments by Lobato were a reference to a sexual assault Lobato fended off in Las Vegas in May, months before Bailey's death. Navarro said Lobato wasn't even in Las Vegas at the time of Bailey's slaying, and several witnesses are expected to testify to this when the defense begins presenting its case next week.

On the witness stand Thursday, Lincoln County adult education teacher Dixie Tienken said a distraught Lobato showed up at her doorstep last summer and talked about cutting off a man's penis while fending off a sexual assault.

Outside court, Tienken said she believes Lobato is innocent. "I don't think she did it," Tienken said. "I don't think she killed anyone."

Another witness, Panaca resident Paul Russell Brown, testified that he overheard Lobato telling his girlfriend last summer of an account similar to the one told to Tienken.

"She was attacked by a man and she defended herself with a knife," Brown said. "She reached down and cut off his penis."

Brown said he has often disregarded Lobato's stories because she was known to exaggerate.

"I've heard a lot of stories so I sort of let it slide," Brown said.

And Brown's girlfriend, Michele Austria, testified that Lobato told her only of having to use a knife to defend herself during a sexual assault. She said Lobato made no mention of cutting off a man's penis.

Today, a Las Vegas homicide detective is expected to take the stand and accuse Lobato of confessing to cutting off a man's penis in Las Vegas. The homicide detective also is expected to say Lobato told police she was in the midst of a three-day methamphetamine binge when Bailey was killed.

During this binge, Lobato said she had danced topless at a Las Vegas strip club and a swingers club, trying to earn money to fund her drug habit.

Prosecutors have yet to present jurors an exact scenario of how Bailey encountered Lobato, but authorities speculate Lobato might have been seeking drugs from Bailey when he was killed. Bailey had a small amount of cocaine byproduct in his system at the time of his death.

During a court recess Thursday, Clark County prosecutor William Kephart was asked to identify the killer's motive.

"I believe the motive had sexual connotations," Kephart said. "It was a drug-induced angry state (directed) at someone who wanted more than she was willing to give."


Prosecutor says conversation ties teen to killing

A prosecutor told jurors Wednesday that a young woman's own words link her to a mutilation slaying that occurred last summer.

In his opening statement, Chief Deputy District Attorney William Kephart said Kirstin Blaze Lobato told a teacher she cut off a man's penis while fending off a sexual assault in Las Vegas.

He said these and other statements link the Panaca teen to the killing of Duran Bailey, a homeless man who was found beaten, stabbed and mutilated in a West Flamingo Road parking lot in July.

"His penis was found severed, completely cut off, in the trash around him," Kephart said.

Deputy Special Public Defender Gloria Navarro told jurors her 19-year-old client was never at the crime scene.

She said Lobato, in her statement to the teacher, was referring to an unrelated incident in which she was sexually assaulted months before Bailey died.

"The reason why there is nothing to connect Blaze to the crime scene is because she wasn't even in Las Vegas at the time," Navarro said.

The two different scenarios were presented to a jury Wednesday afternoon on the opening day of the teen's trial before District Judge Valorie Vega.

Lobato is charged with murder with use of a deadly weapon and sexual penetration of a dead body. If convicted of the murder charge, she faces at least 40 years in prison.

The body of Bailey, 44, was found behind a trash bin across the street from the Palms.

In describing the cause of death, a medical examiner pointed to two sets of injuries: head wounds caused by blows from a blunt object and stabbing and cutting wounds on the abdomen.

The medical examiner said Bailey was dead when his penis was severed and his rectum was stabbed and sliced.

About 10 days after the body was found, homicide investigators were led to Lobato after learning of statements she made to an adult-education teacher, the prosecutor said.

The teacher said Lobato told her she had severed a man's penis in Las Vegas while fending off a sex assault.

"He had tried to put his penis in her mouth, so she pulled out a knife and cut his penis off," Kephart said of Lobato's account.

Kephart said the story could not be true because the medical examiner determined Bailey's body was mutilated after death.

The prosecutor said Lobato told police that at the time of the encounter with Bailey, she was at the end of a three-day binge on methamphetamine and that she had been propositioned by Bailey.

"A dirty, old, stinky black man," is how the defendant supposedly referred to Bailey, Kephart said.

"No one like that is going to do anything to me," the prosecutor said Lobato told a cellmate at the Clark County Detention Center.

Before the trial, Lobato's defense was expected to argue she was defending herself against a sexual assault. Bailey had been accused of rape by another Las Vegas woman a week before his death.

The expectation was furthered by an August courtroom revelation that Lobato was a victim of sexual abuse as a child.

But in court Wednesday, Navarro said Lobato had nothing to do with Bailey's death.

The attorney said her client's comments about defending herself against a sexual assault in Las Vegas were not a reference to Bailey's killing.

Navarro said Lobato was talking about an attempted sexual assault against Lobato at a Budget Suites on the east side of town.

Navarro said that incident occurred in May 2001, months before Bailey's death.

The defense attorney told the jury that bloody footprints found at the scene did not match Lobato's shoe size. The crime scene prints were nearly three sizes larger than the size shoe Lobato wears.

"Kristin Lobato did not kill Duran Bailey," Navarro told the jury. "She had never even been to that parking lot."