Las Vegas Sun

September 18, 2019

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Court upholds man’s conviction in 2008 Las Vegas slaying

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Supreme Court today upheld the first-degree murder conviction of Christian D. Williams in a 2008 gang shooting in Las Vegas of a man considered a “snitch," according to court documents.

The 2-1 decision rejected claims that there were six instances of misconduct by the District Attorney’s Office at the second trial.

The court originally reversed the 2011 conviction of Williams and ordered a new trial. William was convicted again of the fatal shooting of Leshonta Matthews at an apartment complex near Lake Mead Boulevard and H Street.

Williams belonged to the Wood gang and Matthews was a member of the rival Squad Up gang, according to court documents.

There had been shootings between the gangs previously, and Matthews had testified for the prosecution at a trial in which a member of the rival gang was convicted, according to court documents. A few days later, Matthews was shot to death.

Williams argued that errors in statements by the prosecution at the trial entitled him to a third trial.

Justices Michael Douglas and Mark Gibbons agreed there were several errors by the prosecution, “but none were of a particularly egregious character.” They said there was substantial evidence of guilt presented at the trial.

Justice Michael Cherry dissented, writing that “the prosecutor engaged in four instances of misconduct that, considered as a whole and in the context of the trial overall, are plainly egregious.”

Williams was sentenced to consecutive terms of 20 years to life and 7 to 20 years, plus other shorter terms.

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