Serial killer Valerie Moore attacked Kirstin Blaise Lobato with a deadly weapon on February 10, 2017 at the Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Center (FMWCC) in North Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas Tribune has published many articles concerning the legal saga of Kirstin Lobato. For more than ten years her case that has been batted back and forth between the Clark County District Court and the Nevada Supreme Court.
In 2006 Lobato was sentenced to 13 to 35 years in prison for her convictions of voluntary manslaughter and other charges related to the death of a homeless man in Las Vegas in 2001. Lobato has unwaveringly insisted on her innocence, and new scientific and medical evidence has been discovered proving she was 165 miles from Las Vegas at the time of the crime. In December 2016 the Supreme Court sent her case back to the District Court for an evidentiary hearing regarding ineffective assistance of counsel by the Clark County Special Public Defenders Office during her trial, and to resolve her habeas corpus claim of being actually innocent.
Lobato’s case has garnered international attention, and the Innocence Project in New York recently agreed to represent Lobato pro bono in her habeas corpus case. The Innocence Project has been involved in exonerating more than a hundred innocent people nationally.
On the evening of February 10th Moore launched an unprovoked vicious attack on Lobato with one of the most dangerous weapons readily available to her: a sock full of batteries that Moore was able to sling to increase its destructive power.
Moore beat Lobato on the head and upper body before Lobato was able to neutralize Moore by putting her in a choke-hold. Moore chewed on Lobato’s arm in an effort to free herself. When guards arrived, they pepper sprayed both Moore and Lobato, and subdued Moore.
Lobato suffered an injury to her head, and wounds to her arm from Moore biting her.
Guards put Moore and Lobato in disciplinary segregation pending an investigation.
The Nevada Department of Corrections in Carson City did not provide any comment when contacted by Justice Denied about Moore’s assault of Lobato, and attempts to contact FMWCC Warden Dwight Neven for comment about Moore’s assault were unsuccessful.
The NDOC Office of the Inspector General investigates crimes committed in a prison. When they were contacted by Justice Denied, Perla Hernandez said the IG’s office had not been notified by FMWCC about Moore’s assault. Hernandez took details of the incident and said she would forward them to the appropriate person in the IG’s office for investigation.
The Clark County District Attorney’s Office did not comment when contacted by phone, and has not responded to an email from Justice Denied inquiring if the DA’s Office will be involved in the investigation and prosecution of Moore’s premeditated criminal acts in assaulting Lobato. Assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder are among the crimes Moore could be charged with.
The attack on Lobato raises questions about the Nevada DOC’s prisoner classification and confinement policy. The DOC appears to be disregarding that Moore, 57, has a thirty-year history of engaging in fits of uncontrolled violent and deadly behavior. Moore is a serial killer responsible for the deaths of 13 people.
Moore is currently serving 12 life sentences without the possibility of parole plus 15 years. She was convicted in January 2007 of 12 counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree arson for setting the October 31, 2006 fire at the Mizpah Hotel in Reno. Moore lived at the Mizpah, which was primarily an inexpensive residential hotel where rooms rented for $150 a week. On Halloween night Moore argued with a male tenant and threatened him, “You will be gotten.” Two hours later Moore started a mattress on fire outside the man’s door. A tenant in the hotel said Moore “just flipped.”
The Mizpah had no fire sprinkler system, and the 84-year-old three-story building was quickly engulfed in flames. People trapped in their rooms jumped from upper floor windows. Twelve people died, all from smoke inhalation, and 31 were injured.
At the time she started the fire Moore was on parole for her 1989 conviction of second-degree murder with a deadly weapon. Moore was one of three women involved in the February 27, 1987 murder of Kathleen Kennedy in Reno. Kennedy’s death resulted from an argument about money and rebuffing Moore’s sexual advances. Moore struck Kennedy in the head with a rock and stomped on her. A co-defendant testified that Moore said about Kennedy when she was near death, “You might as well kill the bitch.”
Moore was convicted by a jury in September 1987 and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
While imprisoned Moore was implicated in a heroin smuggling ring at the Southern Nevada Women’s Prison (now known as the FMWCC). A prison guard was arrested in September 2003 for trying to smuggle heroin hidden in her bra to Moore. The guard, Constance Edwards, was paid $50 to $200 per trip by Moore’s ex-cellmate, Karen Matthews, to smuggle the drugs to Moore. Edwards also smuggled other items to Moore that weren’t available in the commissary. At the time of her arrest Edwards had been smuggling drugs and other goods to Moore for about a year.
Moore was disciplined for her role in the heroin smuggling operation, but it didn’t interfere with her release on parole in June 2005.
Sixteen months after Moore’s parole she started the deadly fire in a fit of rage. To avoid the death penalty she pled guilty to the 12 murders she committed at the Mizpah. Her sentence bars her from ever being released back into society.
Around eight months ago the NDOC moved Moore into a cell with Lobato.
Confidential sources report that at least once a week Moore “goes crazy” and runs screaming and yelling through the pod she is housed in. It is reported that Lobato has been seen trying to calm Moore down during her intense manic episodes. It is also reported that Moore is not in counseling or on any medication to control her mental instability.
Evidence is readily available to prison authorities that Moore is mentally unstable and an unpredictable threat to the safety of women prisoners at FMWCC. The investigation of Moore’s assault on Lobato could be expanded to include an investigation of the culpability of prison officials in failing to fulfill their important responsibility to protect Lobato and the other women at FMWCC, from Moore.
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Hans Sherrer is President of the Justice Institute aka Justice Denied that conducted a post-conviction investigation of Kirstin Lobato’s case. The Justice Institute is based in Seattle, Washington and promotes awareness of wrongful convictions, and maintains the world’s largest database of exonerated persons. Its website is, www.justicedenied.org.