Justice, Las Vegas Style
November 26, 2003 10:35 AM   Subscribe

Framed for defending herself. On August 28th, 2002 in Las Vegas, Nevada a woman named Kirstin Lobato was sentenced to life in prison. She was the victim of an attempted rape in May 2001, and had defended herself against her rapist. prosecutors used this "confession" of self defense to convict her of a murder that happened months later and in a town where she didn't even live. How "innocent until proven guilty" can you be if prosecutors are willing to use known perjurers and refuse to allow expert testimony?
posted by dejah420 (17 comments total)
I'm glad this website showed that the prosecution had *no* case and no real evidence of guilt, or anything to connect this woman to the murder at all. I wonder how they chose to prosecute her, pick a name out of the phone book?
Somebody should do something sometime.
posted by kablam at 10:42 AM on November 26, 2003

posted by dabitch at 10:44 AM on November 26, 2003

Who knows what really happened, although she looks all meek and mild on the site she fended the guy off with a knife attack to the crotch which is great but where did the knife come from ? Was the guy murdered with a knife ? She is also in some kind of drug program and whose to say she has remained on the straight and narrow ?

Like all things you need both sides of the case, the jury clearly heard something that led them to believe she was guilty and these links don't really give that side of the story.
posted by zeoslap at 11:04 AM on November 26, 2003

Question (no agenda attached):
She was convicted in May 19, 2002. Why is her side of the story only getting attention now - more than two years after her arrest? It seems odd that at least some of these witnesses (her family, phone records) were not presented at trial.

Jailhouse snitches have certainly proved suspect witnesses in the past, and the bit about the judge starting Jury deliberations on Friday night at 9:00 pm (verdict returned at 3:00 am -- see news stories in my comment) certainly smacks of expediency, but I find it hard to draw a conclusion without knowing from an unbiased source exactly what the prosecution presented for a case.

However, if it turns she's innocent, I hope she sues their asses off.

This quote, by the way, should be posted as a warning to all young women in America -- always report -- "At the time the attack occurred, Kirstin had unfortunately fallen into a lifestyle that was unacceptable to her own upbringing and values – she was earning her living by dancing in a strip club and also using illegal amphetamines. As a result of the drugs and lifestyle, Kirstin felt it would be pointless to report the attack to the police. A previous experience with reporting a rape had left her feeling shunned and helpless and she was convinced that the police did not care about nor would they ever believe "someone like her." -- The police will be far more likely to believe you at the time the incident takes place than weeks, months, or years afterwards.
posted by anastasiav at 11:04 AM on November 26, 2003

I'm sorry, but I just don't buy it. I don't mean she's guilty—I have no way of knowing, not having seen the evidence—but that's the point. Why not link to a site that was a little more objective? This is like that show that puported to prove Oswald acted alone. I simply don't believe that the police picked her name out of the phone book, or that the jury was hypnotized or bought off. They had some reason to find her guilty, and these sites aren't about to tell you what it was. (Everybody in prison claims to be innocent, and if they had the resources they'd all have websites proclaiming it, with carefully selected evidence and alibis.)

On preview: what zeoslap said.
posted by languagehat at 11:09 AM on November 26, 2003

Raped in May, she reports it then: yes or no?
This scum bag is killed in July. Then a jailhouse snitch talks to her in jail then relays false info to cops.
Or the snitch tells the cops info off the streets which is false and the cops then question her for the first time put the rape incident w/ his death. ?

The way I'm understanding it; she told the cops about her rape which then the cops take as her confession feeling she did it out of revenge in July not May when she admitted stabbing him.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:12 AM on November 26, 2003

Las Vegas Review-Journal

They [the prosecution] said Lobato was at the end of a three-day methamphetamine binge when the slaying occurred, and speculated she had agreed to trade sex for drugs. The killing might have occurred when Bailey failed to keep his end of the bargain, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Lobato then retrieved a baseball bat and beat Bailey to death. After this, she cut off his penis and stabbed him repeatedly in the anus.

posted by 4easypayments at 11:14 AM on November 26, 2003

Erroll Morris did a great job of covering a story of justice gone amok in "The Thin Blue Line", but the case for the innocence of the man on death row who was the subject of Morris's film was very tight and so eventually, largely as a result of pressure brought to bear by the award winning documentary, the man was released.

The ugly point of the film concerned how the Texas lawmen in question placed a high priority on finding someone - anyone - to pin murder raps on because of a "zero unsolved murders" record in their city. So they found a "creative" solution for one difficult case - they just grabbed a homeless drifter who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
posted by troutfishing at 11:17 AM on November 26, 2003

4easypayments - sounds like a bit much.

Oh well. What a tragedy - beware of amphetamine binges!

I guess Lobato didn't get enough of "Parents - the anti-drug" as a kid.
posted by troutfishing at 11:20 AM on November 26, 2003

Why not link to a site that was a little more objective? The link: Kirstin Lobato . If you page down it talks about why some jurors thought she did it.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:27 AM on November 26, 2003

Prosecutors then confronted her with the statements of police and others who said she told them about stabbing a man in the penis. Lobato said she was referring to an unrelated incident in which she stabbed at a man's groin area while she fended off a May 2001 sexual assault near Boulder Highway.

Prosecutors said they believe Lobato was on her knees in front of Bailey when she produced a butterfly knife and stabbed him in the testicles. ... After this, she cut off his penis.

"If she slashes his dict, you must convict!"
posted by darren at 11:54 AM on November 26, 2003

Thanks for the links. (I have to say, this story rings all too true).
posted by plep at 11:55 AM on November 26, 2003


I kindly refer you to Federal Rules of Evidence 802(2)(a):The statement is offered against a party and is the party's own statement, in either an individual or a representative capacity

(adopted by Nevada I assume).

Sorry kids, anything you ever say, at anytime, about anything can be used against you at trial, if relevant.

It's not justice Las Vegas style, I guess the jury just didn't feel sympathy for this woman. I suppose there is no "self-defense" to rape, but maybe there should be. (outside of battered woman's syndrome)
posted by Bag Man at 12:33 PM on November 26, 2003

With all things considered, if I could turn back time - I wouldn't change a thing. Everything I've encountered on my lifes journey makes me who I am today. - from Kirstin's prison penpal ad.
posted by F Mackenzie at 1:21 PM on November 26, 2003

I'm sure it wouldn't be appreciated, but perhaps the Farksters should be unleashed on the "art/poetry" submission page?
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:42 PM on November 26, 2003

Knowing what she did and looking at that personal ad, with pictures of herself graduating from high school, etc. completely freaks me out.
posted by mecran01 at 10:28 PM on November 26, 2003

Here is a link to a resource where the blog author has read the entire transcripts and has written on a different segment each week or so.
posted by dejah420 at 10:58 AM on November 27, 2003

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