Las Vegas Sun

November 28, 2014

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Man arrested after motel slaying was on parole in murder of Henderson woman

RENO — A 61-year-old man who was arrested after he told police he killed a woman Sunday at a Reno motel had been released from prison in September after serving more than 20 years for the murder of his fiance in Southern Nevada, state records show.

Zollie Edward Dumas, who also goes by the name Sabrina Starr Dumas, was granted parole last June 17 and was released Sept. 1, according to Nevada Parole Board records reviewed on Monday by The Associated Press.

Reno police say Dumas was booked into the county jail on a parole violation Sunday after he told investigators he had killed the female occupant of a room at the Lucky Motel on East Fourth Street just east of downtown. Police say they were called there about noon on a report of a domestic dispute.

Reno police say the suspect surrendered to authorities. The name of the victim has not been released.

Dumas was convicted in 1988 in the stabbing death of Angela Griffin of Henderson.

His appellate attorneys argued he was borderline mentally disabled and the Nevada Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 1995 because his original lawyer failed to argue his limited mental capacity made it impossible for him to commit first-degree murder under Nevada law requiring it be done knowingly.

Dumas subsequently pleaded guilty in 1997 to second-degree murder as part of a plea bargain arrangement. He had been in prison for that crime until his release last fall.

Dumas first became eligible for parole in 1998 and had been denied parole twice that year, then again in 2002, 2003, 2006, twice in 2009 and again in 2010 before he won parole in June 2013.

Police say he stabbed Griffin 24 times at a mobile home in Henderson on June 27, 1988. Officers were standing outside the home when the attack occurred. They had inspected the home and declared it vacant so she could safely pack her belongings to move away from the man she feared.

But Dumas had been hiding behind a bathroom door and started stabbing Griffin before police heard her muffled cries for help.

Dumas was booked into the jail for violating conditions of his parole and was being held Monday without bail. It was not clear if he had obtained a lawyer and jail officials said his initial court appearing has not yet been set.

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