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The retrial of John Valerio continues. The Nevada man convicted of murder in 1988 remains guilty under the law for stabbing a Las Vegas prostitute 45 times, but now has a second chance at the penalty phase, where he hopes to escape the death penalty. Valerio and his attorneys insist that the Nevada law regarding the death penalty at the time was too vague. Court is expected to resume at approximately 10:00 am PT/1:00 pm ET.
Karen Blackwell‘s body was found in the trunk of a car, wrapped in sheets from Valerio’s apartment. Her blood was found all over his apartment, and he had her keys and address book in his jacket pocket. But while his guilt is not in doubt, the question was whether his actions met the definition of “depravity of mind” required for the death penalty under Nevada law at the time.
The trial began on Monday, and featured testimony from retired Detective James Vaccaro, who worked on the case in 1986. Vaccaro discussed the crime scene, as photos were shown to the court. Also taking the stand was medical examiner Dr. Nina Hollander, who discussed the nature of Blackwell’s injuries.
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