Wednesday, April 14, 2010 | 3:55 p.m.
CARSON CITY – The Nevada Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of Antoine L. Williams, once sentenced to death for the murder and robbery of an elderly couple in Las Vegas in 1994.
The court in 2007 ordered a new penalty hearing for Williams, which is pending in district court in Clark County. Williams now has petitioned for a whole new trial.
The court said Williams asked for a new trial after a jury found him guilty of two counts of first-degree murder plus five other charges. It said his appeal was 13 years after being found guilty and it is not timely.
The court Wednesday upheld the decision of District Judge Stefany Miley, who denied the motion for a new trial.
Williams, now 42, was convicted of using a lamp cord to strangle 74-year-old William Nail and strangling and stabbing his 72-year-old wife Alice in the couple’s home. He then took a wallet, purse, radio, VCR and jewelry boxes. And he found an ATM card of Nail’s and withdrew money from the bank on his account.
The Clark County Public Defender’s Office argued that “when a sentence is reversed no matter when, the U.S. Supreme Court will deem the whole judgment, including the conviction to be removed for the purpose of direct attack.”
The public defender said that at an upcoming penalty hearing the prosecution has to prove each aggravating circumstance beyond a reasonable doubt and that “will require, in essence, re-litigating the entire trial.”
But the Clark County District Attorney’s Office said that re-sentencing does not change “the finality of a defendant’s conviction. It has no bearing of the guilty phase of his case and consequently his conviction stands.”
Williams is one of 80 inmates on death row at the state prison in Ely. The last execution was on April 26, 2006, when Daryl Mack was put to death.