By Hans Sherrer
Special to the Las Vegas Tribune
Kirstin Blaise Lobato was released from the Clark CountyDetention Center at 2 p.m. on January 3, 2018. She had been incarcerated for a total of more than 15 years since she was arrested in Panaca on July 20, 2001, for Duran Bailey’s homicide in Las Vegas on July 8, 2001.
Judge Stefany Miley granted Lobato’s habeas corpus petition on December 19, 2017. Miley vacated Lobato’s 2006 convictions for voluntary manslaughter and other charges related to Bailey’s homicide, and ordered a new trial. Miley’s ruling was based on new forensic entomology and forensic pathology evidence discovered in 2009 that proves Bailey died on the evening of July 8. During Lobato’s trial the
prosecution admitted her alibi evidence establishes she was in Panaca on July 8 from late morning until after Bailey’s body was discovered that night in Las Vegas.
The forensic evidence that Bailey died when Lobato was 170 miles north of Las Vegas proves it is physically impossible she committed his homicide.
DA Steve Wolfson decided not to retry Lobato. His office filed a motion to dismiss Lobato’s charges, which was granted on December 29, 2017 by District Court Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez. The charges were dismissed with prejudice, which means Lobato can never be recharged for Bailey’s homicide. Gonzalez also ordered her release from Nevada DOC custody.
Lobato was not immediately released. In 2007 she was convicted for the gross misdemeanor of having consensual sex with another female inmate.
She was to begin serving her 365-day sentence for that conviction at the Clark County Detention Center upon her release from NDOC custody.
On January 2, 2018 Lobato was transported from the Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Center in North Las Vegas to the Detention Center.
Due to the special circumstance of Lobato having served more than 15 years in custody for crimes she didn’t commit, the Nevada Attorney General’s Office agreed to modification of her 365-day misdemeanor sentence to run concurrently with her sentences for her vacated felony convictions.
On January 3, Judge Gonzalez signed an Order modifying Lobato’s sentence, and ordered her immediate release from the Detention Center for time served.
Michelle Ravell was the first person to greet Lobato after she was released. Ravell is the mother of the young man who was dating Lobato at the time of her arrest in July 2001, and she has steadfastly supported her for the last 16-1/2 years.
Lobato also greeted a number of well-wishers, and made comments to the media thanking her supporters, before saying that she wanted to get a “coffee” and go “shopping.”
That night Ravell had a belated Christmas celebration for Lobato. She opened years of presents that Ravell had stored for her to open when she was released.
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Hans Sherrer is President of the Justice Institute aka Justice Denied that conducted the post-conviction investigation of Kirstin Lobato’s case. That investigation discovered the new forensic evidence proving Bailey died in Las Vegas when Lobato was in Panaca, which resulted in the dismissal of her charges and her release.
The Justice Institute based in Seattle, Washington, investigates cases of possible wrongful conviction, and maintains the world’s largest database of exonerated
persons. Its website is www.justicedenied.org.