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BRIANNA DENISON - Aged 19 years - Reno, Santa Barbara (USA)

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default Re: BRIANNA DENISON - Aged 19 years - Reno, Santa Barbara (USA)

Post  merlynsam on Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:06 am

Reno Gazette Journal

December 4, 2008

Secret Witness tipster

Secret Witness Chairman Brock Richter said Wednesday the woman who called in the tip that led to an arrest in the death of Brianna Denison and another sexual assault hasn't collected the reward. He said most people report tips to help public safety, not to collect money.

He stressed the woman will remain anonymous, and the organization's procedures for keeping her anonymous are intact.

He encouraged the community to continue calling in tips for the hundreds of other unsolved cases in the community.

http://www.rgj.com/article/20081204/NEWS01/812040351/0/NEWS18

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Post  merlynsam on Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:10 am

Reno Gazette Journal

December 6, 2008

BY MARTHA BELLISLE

New charges filed against suspect in Denison killing

Prosecutors filed three new charges Friday against James Michael Biela, the 27-year-old pipe-fitter accused of killing Brianna Denison in January -- saying he also sexually assaulted Denison and another college student and tried to rape a third.

Biela was arrested on Nov. 25 and charged with strangling Denison, a 19-year-old college student who had been abducted from a friend's home on Jan. 20, and found dead in a southeast Reno field on Feb. 15. That arrest included charges that he kidnapped and sexually assaulted another student in December.

(continues)

http://www.rgj.com/article/20081206/NEWS/812060350/0/NEWS18

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Post  merlynsam on Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:15 am

Reno Gazette Journal

December 10, 2008

BY MARTHA BELLISLE

Biela to appear in court today

Prosecutors will be calling witnesses before a justice of the peace today to make their case that James Michael Biela should go to trial on charges that he raped and killed Brianna Denison, sexually assaulted two other college students and tried to rape a third.

(continues)

http://www.rgj.com/article/20081210/NEWS/812100441/0/NEWS18

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Post  merlynsam on Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:17 am

Reno Gazette Journal

December 11, 2008

BY MARTHA BELLISLE

Prosecutors offer case against Biela

http://www.rgj.com/article/20081211/NEWS/812110351/0/NEWS18

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Post  merlynsam on Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:20 am

Politicom

January 29, 2009

Accused killer, rapist seeks split trials

A man charged with the rape-murder of a California coed and the rape of two others plans to seek trials in each case, his lawyer says.

An effort also was expected to move the trial of James Biela out of Reno, Nev., where the body of Brianna Denison, a 19-year-old Reno native and sophomore at a Santa Barbara, Calif., college, was found, the Reno Gazette Journal reported.

A trial is scheduled for Feb. 22, 2010. The prosecution says it will seek the death penalty.

(continues)

http://politicom.moldova.org/news/accused-killer-rapist-seeks-split-trials-179746-eng.html

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Post  merlynsam on Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:30 am

Reno Journal Gazette

March 19, 2009

BY MARTHA BELLISLE

James Biela asking for new lawyers

James Biela, the man charged with raping and killing Brianna Denison, is asking for new lawyers.

Washoe District Judge Robert Perry called a hearing for this afternoon to discuss the issue. He is represented by Washoe County public defenders Richard Davies and Jay Slocum.

“I am requesting a meeting with Judge Perry to discuss replacing my lawyers,” Biela said in an “inmate request form” sent from the jail.

(continues)

http://www.rgj.com/article/20090319/NEWS18/90319035/0/NEWS18

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Post  merlynsam on Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:31 am

Reno Gazette Journal

June 26, 2009

BY MARTHA BELLISLE

Brianna Denison suspect Biela loses second attempt to split up trials

http://www.rgj.com/article/20090626/NEWS/90626039/0/NEWS18

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Post  merlynsam on Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:35 am

Reno Gazette Journal

October 6, 2009

BY MARTHA BELLISLE

Lawyers for James Biela say crime lab destroyed vital evidence

Lawyers for James Biela, charged with killing Brianna Denison and sexually assaulting two others, have filed a motion saying the county’s crime lab destroyed DNA evidence that could have been used in his defense.

The lab violated its own policies by destroying semen samples after using what they had for DNA testing, Chief Deputy Public Defender Maizie Pusich said in the motion.

“The destruction raises the inference that arresting and prosecuting someone, anyone, in this high profile murder case may have been more important to state agents than following the procedures designed to prevent false tests,” Pusich said.

The motion asks the judge to order that “evidence of any DNA tests in which the entire suspect sample has been consumed, and cannot be retested, be suppressed and not be presented to the jury during the trial in this case.”

(continues)

http://www.rgj.com/article/20091006/NEWS01/91006058/0/NEWS18

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Post  merlynsam on Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:37 am

CNN

November 5, 2009

By Rupa Mikkilineni, Nancy Grace Producer

One arrest, more cold cases to solve

A cold case involved anyone who vanished without a trace or was murdered, any time the police and family were left without an arrest or explanation.

Cold cases tell the stories of lives interrupted.

(...)

Brianna Denison was the cold case that resulted in an arrest. Media coverage in September 2008 brought in the tip that led to a suspect.

Denison, 19, was visiting friends at the University of Nevada, Reno, and had crashed on the living room couch of an off-campus apartment. While she slept, someone crept into the apartment and abducted her. She was sexually assaulted and brutally strangled, and her body found weeks later in a snow-covered field a few miles away.

A month after her story was featured as a cold case, triggering a series of local stories, police in Reno, Nevada, made an arrest.

"Media coverage is absolutely essential for us," said Detective Adam Wygnanski, one of the lead investigators working the case for the Reno Police Department. "We finally got the break in the case we were looking for."

(continues)

http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/11/05/grace.coldcase.year/index.html

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Post  merlynsam on Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:41 am

Mercury News

06/11/2009

Reno trial postponed in UNR student's murder, rape

http://www.mercurynews.com/california/ci_13731311?nclick_check=1

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Post  merlynsam on Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:44 am

Channel 4

6th November 2009

By Victoria Campbell

Judge considering crucial question over evidence in murder case

Washoe District Court Judge Robert Perry will rule Monday on whether prosecutors can use DNA evidence in the case against James Biela, the man accused of a series of rapes and the murder of Brianna Denison.

Defense attorneys asked to have DNA evidence excluded, disputing the way it was processed at the Washoe County Crime Lab. Specifically, they were protesting the fact that technicians used virtually all of each of the samples, leaving no DNA evidence for them to retest.

(...)

Also Friday, the judge granted a defense request for a delay in the trial, which was scheduled to begin February 22, 2010. Public Defender Maizie Pusich was assigned to the case in September after the original attorney left the public defender's office. Pusich told the court she needed more time to review more than 40,000 pages of evidence and to adequately prepare for the case.

Prosecutors did not object, and Judge Perry granted the request. The trial will begin on May 10, 2010. If convicted, Biela faces a possible death penalty.

http://www.krnv.com/Global/story.asp?S=11472767

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Post  merlynsam on Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:47 am

Reno Gazette Journal

November 6, 2009

BY MARTHA BELLISLE

Biela trial delayed until May; Judge considers prohibiting DNA evidence due to tests

fter hearing hours of arguments Friday, a judge said he plans to announce Monday whether to prohibit certain DNA evidence in the Brianna Denison murder and rape case because James Biela’s defense lawyers can’t independently test the samples.

However, Washoe District Judge Robert Perry reversed an earlier ruling and granted Biela lawyer Maizie Pusich’s request to move the trial from February to May 10, after she argued that she was only recently assigned to the case and needed time to go through the volumes of evidence collected.

(continues)

http://www.rgj.com/article/20091106/NEWS01/91106030/0/NEWS18

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Post  merlynsam on Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:51 am

Channel 2 News

Nov 09, 2009 11:47 PM GST

By Brandon Rittiman

Judge Denies Biela's Request to Suppress DNA Evidence

http://www.ktvn.com/Global/story.asp?S=11473250

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Post  merlynsam on Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:55 am

San Francisco Chronicle

Monday, November 9, 2009

Reno judge: DNA evidence allowed in murder trial

(snippet)

In a ruling Monday, Washoe District Judge Robert Perry said crime lab technicians didn't act in bad faith when samples collected from a crime scene were exhausted to develop a DNA profile of James Biela.

Biela's lawyer had argued there was no way to independently verify the crime lab's findings and therefore DNA evidence should be barred.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/11/06/state/n142756S26.DTL#ixzz0Xt3m1AfP

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Post  merlynsam on Thu Nov 26, 2009 3:08 am

Reno Gazette Journal

November 24, 2009

Benefit set for Bring Bri Justice group

An arts and crafts festival to benefit the Bring Bri Justice Foundation will be Dec. 4-6 at the Bring Bri Justice Center, 5000 Smithridge Drive, A-9, near Toys R Us in Reno.

(...)

The center was created in 2008 after the kidnapping and murder of Brianna Denison, 19, a Reno High School graduate who was visiting family and friends during winter break from her college in California.

(continues)

http://www.rgj.com/article/20091124/NEWS/91124061/1232/NEWS19/Benefit-set-for-Bring-Bri-Justice-group

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Post  merlynsam on Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:16 pm

Crime About

Monday November 30, 2009

DNA Evidence Allowed in Brianna Denison Case

http://crime.about.com/b/2009/11/30/dna-evidence-allowed-in-brianna-denison-case.htm

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Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:23 pm

Reno Journal

March 12th 2010

Biela lawyers ask judge to block evidence from trial

Deputy District Attorney Elliott Sattler argued that the information gathered from Biela's computers, including the discovery of key words like choke, rapist and stalking, shows his behavior at the time Brianna Denison was raped and murdered, and should be allowed as evidence during his May trial.

http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/rgj/access/1981399701.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Mar+12%2C+2010&author=MARTHA+BELLISLE&pub=Reno+Gazette+-+Journal&desc=Biela+lawyers+ask+judge+to+block+evidence+from+trial&pqatl=google

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Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:26 pm

mynews4

Tuesday March 16, 2010

More rulings in Biela murder case

A Washoe District Court judge has issued new rulings in the case of James Michael Biela, charged with three sexual assaults, two kidnappings and the killing of Brianna Denison, 19. The new rulings will affect evidence, court security, and the possible penalty Biela could face if he's convicted by a jury in May.

Judge Robert Perry has ruled that Denison's family will be allowed to sit through the trial, even though they could be called as witnesses. Generally, witnesses are excluded from hearing other testimony. But the law does allow for some exceptions, and Denison's family will be able to stay.

Perry also ruled that jurors will not see Biela wearing a prison jumpsuit, shackles, or a "stun belt" around his waist. They will also not be told that he is in jail. Deputies who guard Biela will keep a low profile in the courtroom to avoid influencing the jury.

Defense attorneys had asked that the judge take the death penalty off the table, but Perry refused. If convicted, Biela's jury may consider the death penalty as a possible punishment.

Trial is set to begin in Washoe District Court on May 10. It is expected to last three weeks.

http://www.mynews4.com/story.php?id=13190&n=122

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Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:28 pm

cbs news

March 22, 2010 6:19 AM

by Carlin DeGuerin Miller

Brianna Denison Murder: Will Son's DNA Convict Father?

RENO, Nev. (CBS/AP) - Accused killer and rapist James Biela refused to give police a DNA sample, so they took DNA from his son instead. Now a Washoe County, Nev. judge has ruled the son's DNA can indeed be used by prosecutors to try to tie Biela to the January, 2008 murder of 19-year-old Brianna Denison, who vanished while sleeping on a friend's couch near the University of Nevada-Reno campus.

Denison's body was found three weeks later.

Biela's lawyers had tried to suppress the DNA evidence taken from his son, a minor, who submitted the sample with the consent of his mother, who is Biela's girlfriend. From that, forensic experts determined the boy's biological father could not be ruled out as the source of DNA evidence gathered from the crime scene in the Brianna Denison case, and in two rapes with which Biela is also charged.

Washoe District Judge Robert Perry last Monday denied the motion by Biela's lawyers to suppress the son's DNA sample.

Biela has pleaded not guilty to Denison's murder. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

The trial is scheduled to start in May.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20000741-504083.html

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Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:33 pm

The Associated Press

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

By SCOTT SONNER, Associated Press Writer

Reno judge mulls jury rules in Denison murder

RENO, Nev. — The judge in a high-profile murder case in Reno says he will decide by Friday what special steps to take to seat a jury impartial enough to ensure a fair trial for the alleged serial rapist accused of kidnapping and killing Brianna Denison.

James Biela is scheduled to go to trial in May on charges he murdered the 19-year-old college coed in 2008 and raped two other young women.

Washoe District Judge Robert Perry says the cost of the trial expected to last at least three weeks is not the primary concern. But he says it must be considered when seeking the fairest jury possible for such an emotional case.

Biela's lawyers say it will be an uphill battle given all the publicity of the attacks that gripped the community for months.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/mar/31/reno-judge-mulls-jury-rules-in-denison-murder/

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Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:36 pm

The Associated Press

Friday, April 2, 2010

By SCOTT SONNER, Associated Press Writer,

Jury questionnaire blocked in teen murder case

RENO, Nev. — Prospective jurors in the trial of a man accused of killing one teenage girl and sexually assaulting two other young women won't automatically be thrown off the panel because they believe in the sanctity of human life, a judge ruled Friday.

Washoe District Judge Robert Perry also denied a request by lawyers for James Biela to give prospective jurors an extended questionnaire about religion and capital punishment.

He ruled a candidate's opposition to the death penalty wasn't necessarily a problem as long as the person thought they could set aside the belief and follow the law.

Biela is accused of murdering 19-year-old Brianna Denison and sexually assaulting two other young women near the campus of the University of Nevada , Reno between November 2007 and January 2008. An autopsy showed Denison, a Santa Barbara City College sophomore, had been raped and strangled.

Biela has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Judge Perry had several concerns about the seven-page questionnaire the defense team wanted to give hundreds of prospective jurors before the selection process begins May 10.

"Some of the questions are highly personal," Perry wrote.

Among other things, the questionnaire asked if candidates regularly attended church and if their religious, spiritual or philosophical life perspective strongly influenced their feelings about the death penalty.

Perry said the benefit of distributing the questionnaire in advance to speed the selection process was outweighed by the probability of detriments to a fair trial.

"The risk that these potential jurors would be `infected' with the opinions of family and friends is high," the judge said.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/apr/02/jury-questionnaire-blocked-in-teen-murder-case/

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Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:42 pm

cbs news

April 27, 2010 10:01 AM

Brianna Denison Judge Will Likely Allow Porn Evidence

RENO, Nev. (CBS/AP) The judge in the case of a Nevada man accused of killing 19-year-old Brianna Denison and sexually assaulting two other young women says the jury will most likely be allowed to hear and see evidence of James Biela's alleged fetish for women's thong underwear.

Washoe District Judge Robert Perry also ruled Monday that Biela's ex-girlfriend will be allowed to testify during next month's trial about the websites he frequented featuring photos of young girls and thongs.

But the judge says no one can refer to the sites as "porn."

Biela could face the death penalty if convicted of kidnapping and strangling Denison in 2008, then dumping her body and two pairs of thong underwear in a Reno business park.

His two other accusers allege he took their underwear after assaulting them.

The new ruling is largely a victory for prosecutors, but the judge pointed out that they will have meet the normal legal tests at the time of the trial in order for the material to be formally introduced into the case.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8300-504083_162-504083.html?keyword=Perry#ixzz116f31vBB

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Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:51 pm

Reno Journal Gazzette

May 11, 2010

Biela trial update: Jury selection continues, expected to wrap at 5 p.m.

James Biela's defense lawyer pressed several potential jurors this afternoon about concerns they had shared earlier about serving on this case, but after one said he had too much of an emotional attachment, the judge refused to let him go.

Biela trial update: Potential jurors asked about media coverage, Denison search involvement

As the afternoon progressed, Deputy District Attorney Elliott Sattler questioned potential jurors whether the Brianna Denison murder case received too much media attention, and no one raised their hands.

Biela jury could be seated Tuesday

The rapid dismissal of a more than two dozen potential jurors in the James Biela murder trial slowed to a trickle by this afternoon, and the judge announced a jury might be seated as soon as Tuesday. A woman who said she was a homemaker and part-time bartender was dismissed when she told the judge she had been a sexual assault victim.

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Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:54 pm

The Associated Press

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

By SANDRA CHEREB, Associated Press Writer

Trial begins in Reno slaying, serial rape case

RENO, Nev. — Prosecutors said Wednesday that a man with a fetish for women's thong underwear escalated from rapist to killer, with the sexual assaults of two women in 2007 near the University of Nevada, Reno and the death of a college coed in 2008.

In his opening statement to a seven-man, five-woman jury, Deputy District Attorney Chris Hicks said James Biela "graduated from serial rapist to murderer," and that after DNA and other forensic evidence is presented, jurors will reach the inescapable conclusion of his guilt.

But Public Defender Jay Slocum urged jurors not to view the evidence with sympathy or anger, but the "cold light of reason." He said DNA evidence was not conclusive, and that while authorities say they've linked the three crimes to a single assailant, each has "very distinct facts" that shed doubt on the prosecution's theory.

Biela, a Sparks pipe fitter who trained in martial arts, is charged with three counts of sexual assault and one count each of kidnapping and murder. Prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty if he is convicted.

Brianna Denison, a 19-year-old who grew up in Reno, was visiting family and friends during the winter break when she disappeared while sleeping on a couch at a house near UNR in January 2008. A sophomore at Santa Barbara City College in California, her body - covered by a discarded Christmas tree and wearing only socks - was found three weeks later in a snowy vacant lot in a business district in south Reno.

Tucked beneath one of her legs was two pair of women's thong underwear. One belonged to the friend Denison was staying with the night she disappeared, and forensic experts believe it was used to strangle her, Hicks said.

Biela, 28, also is accused of raping a woman in a UNR parking garage at gunpoint in October 2007. Another woman was kidnapped two months later from outside her apartment near UNR and driven to a parking lot where she was assaulted before her attacker drove her home and told her not to call police, authorities said.

In both of those crimes, Hicks said, the women were attacked from behind and the assailant kept their underwear.

The first woman threw away the clothes she was wearing and didn't report the crime until after Denison's abduction, but after his arrest she identified Biela as her attacker.

The second woman, an exchange student who's native language is Mandarin, was the first witness called Wednesday, and told jurors how she was grabbed from behind by an attacker who covered her mouth and choked her to unconsciousness. When she came to, she was forced to perform sexual acts.

The attacker then drove her home.

Biela was arrested in November 2008 after an anonymous tip that led authorities to his ex-girlfriend, who confided to a friend of finding two pair of women's thong underwear in his truck.

Police later matched his DNA to that found on Denison's body.

The trial before Washoe District Judge Robert Perry is expected to last about three weeks.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/may/12/trial-begins-in-reno-slaying-serial-rape-case/

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default Re: BRIANNA DENISON - Aged 19 years - Reno, Santa Barbara (USA)

Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:01 pm

cbs news

May 13, 2010 5:01 PM

by Kealan Oliver

Brianna Denison Trial: Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty

RENO, Nev. (CBS/AP) Prosecutors say that a man obsessed with women's thong underwear started out raping women, and ended up killing one. Now, Prosecutors are trying to convict James Biela, and are seeking the death penalty for his heinous alleged crime.

James Biela, a 28-year-old trained in martial arts, is accused of the sexual assaults of two women in 2007 near the University of Nevada, Reno and the murder of college student Brianna Denison in 2008. He is charged with three counts of sexual assault and one count each of kidnapping and murder.

Deputy District Attorney Chris Hicks said, in his opening statement to a seven-man, five-woman jury, that Biela "graduated from serial rapist to murderer," and that after DNA and other forensic evidence is presented, jurors will inevitably see the truth of Biela's guilt.

But Public Defender Jay Slocum encouraged jurors to view the evidence with the "cold light of reason." He said DNA evidence was not conclusive, and that while authorities say they've linked the three crimes to a single assailant, each has "very distinct facts."

Brianna Denison, a 19-year-old from Reno, disappeared while sleeping on a couch at a house near UNR in January 2008. Her body, covered by a discarded Christmas tree and wearing only socks was found three weeks later in a snowy vacant lot in south Reno. Beneath one of her legs were two pairs of women's thong underwear. Forensic experts believe it was used to strangle her.

Biela is also accused of raping a woman in a UNR parking garage at gunpoint in October 2007. Another woman was kidnapped two months later and was assaulted before her attacker drove her home and told her not to call police, authorities said. In both of those crimes, Hicks said, the women were attacked from behind and the assailant kept their underwear.

The first woman threw away the clothes she was wearing and didn't report the crime until after Denison's abduction, but after Biela's arrest she identified him as her attacker.

The second woman, an exchange student whose native language is Mandarin, was the first witness called Wednesday, and told jurors how she was grabbed from behind by an attacker who covered her mouth and choked her to unconsciousness; she was also forced to perform sexual acts before being driven home.

Biela was arrested in November 2008 after an anonymous tip that led authorities to his ex-girlfriend, who reportedly confided to a friend about finding two pair of women's thong underwear in Biela's truck. Police later matched his DNA to that found on Denison's body.

The trial before Washoe District Judge Robert Perry is expected to last about three weeks.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20004949-504083.html

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