Las Vegas Sun

August 4, 2015

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Court upholds conviction of man in killing over dog

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

Patterson complained 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 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 in Las Vegas. Wilkerson, according to court documents, had planned to return the animal but was killed by a shotgun blast to the head on Aug. 29, 2007.

Patterson was convicted May 6, 2009, and 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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