70°F
weather icon Clear

Steese deemed innocent, granted $1.35M for wrongful conviction

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford announced that the Eighth Judicial District Court granted Frederick Steese a Certificate of Innocence and court approval for an award of $1.35 million from the state of Nevada as compensation for the 18 years Steese spent in prison following his wrongful conviction.

Eighth Judicial District Court Judge Jasmine Lilly-Spells entered stipulated orders on March 1, which AG Ford fully supported.

“As attorney general, my job is justice, and I’m thrilled that Mr. Steese has been declared an innocent man,” Ford said. “While no amount of money can ever replace our freedom, Mr. Steese will be compensated for the years he has lost. I want to thank the attorneys in my office who have worked tirelessly on this case. Your work means so much in the eyes of Nevadans.”

In 1992, Steese was arrested for the murder of his friend, Las Vegas performer Gerard Soules. Nearly three years later, despite extensive alibi evidence placing him in a different state at the time of the murder, Steese was convicted by the state of Nevada of murder with use of a deadly weapon, robbery with use of a deadly weapon, burglary and grand larceny auto.

In 2012, following extensive evidentiary hearings, the Eighth Judicial District Court granted Steese’s post-conviction petition for writ of habeas corpus, finding that Steese was actually innocent. The state agreed to permit Steese to enter a nolo contendere plea to reduced charges of second-degree murder. Steese was released on a time-served sentence on Feb. 28, 2013. In 2017, Steese received a full, unconditional pardon from Nevada Board of Pardons commissioners based on his actual innocence.

In 2019, the Nevada Legislature adopted Assembly Bill 267 to compensate persons who have been wrongfully incarcerated if they can prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that they did not commit the crime for which they were convicted, were not an accomplice and did not otherwise cause their own conviction. Additional costs, including reasonable attorney fees, educational expenses, counseling services and certain other reimbursements are also permitted. Steese is the fourth person in Nevada to receive a Certificate of Innocence under this new statute.

This matter was handled by the attorney general’s Post-Conviction Unit by Chief Deputy Attorney General Heather Procter, Deputy Attorney General Jaimie Stilz and Deputy Attorney General Sheryl Serreze.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Little League strikes back after county action

Pahrump Valley Little League plays its games at Ian Deutch Memorial Park. In fact, its address is listed as 1600 Honeysuckle Street, the park’s address. This is not a secret.

Nye County Treasurer’s trust auction set

Those with a bit of extra cash to invest who are looking to find themselves a good deal on some land in Nye County have just a few days left to prepare for the upcoming Nye County Treasurer’s Trust Property Tax Sale, which is set to take place next weekend.

3 family members die in US 95 crash

An Arizona man is facing numerous felony charges for his alleged role in a two-vehicle, head-on collision that killed three Victor, Idaho residents who were all family members.

Nevada seeking poets for laureate position

Art takes many forms, including the written and the verbal, and those with a passion for language, for the rhythm and rhyme of words, for the cadence of speech, often seek to express that passion in the form of poetry.

Hiker dies in Death Valley

An Arizona congressional staffer has died after he and a female companion went on a hiking excursion in Death Valley National Park.

Going back to school: Tips on how to pay for it

Going back to school can help you advance in your job, re-enter the Pahrump workforce, or support a second act as you chart a completely new career. But what are the right strategies adults should keep in mind to help manage education expenses?

Temporary reduction for businesses

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced guidance under the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Relief Act of 2020, which gives breaks to businesses for certain expenses.

Nevada named top mining destination

Nevada has been named as “the world’s top mining destination,” according to the 2020 survey of resource and exploration companies released by the Fraser Institute.

Cegavske, state Republican Party duel over censure resolution

The Nevada Republican Party defended its Saturday vote to censure Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske over her handling of fraud allegations in the 2020 election.