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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 Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:07 pm

Reno Gazette Journal

May 13, 2010

Similarities point to Biela, prosecutor says

The parking garage assault involved a gun and the attacker forcing a woman to have intercourse in a public place; the other sexual assault involved no weapon and a secluded location, he said. In November 2008, a Secret Witness tip led police to Biela, and authorities found a list of similarities that made him a prime suspect: >> His description matched the one given by the first rape victim. >> He looked similar to the sketch of him as a suspect. >> He drove an extra-cab Toyota Tacoma, used in the second assault. >> He had an infant child, linking him to the baby shoe seen by the second victim. >> His truck was a mess. >> He had a blue belt in Jujitsu, which would have taught him to use choke holds. >> And he used to work at a business next to the south Reno vacant field.

(link not working)

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

Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:23 pm

Reno Gazette Journal

May 17, 2010

Biela trial: Courtroom watches last known video of Brianna

People in the courtroom leaned forward and strained their necks at the James Biela murder trial this afternoon to see a video of Brianna Denison with her friends at Mel’s Diner a few hours before she was abducted.

“That’s her yawning right there?” Deputy District Attorney Elliott Sattler asked Denison’s friend, K.T. Hunter, who had spent the evening of Jan. 20, 2008 with Denison at a concert.

“Yeah,” Hunter said.

“She’s pretty small,” Sattler said.

“To the best of your knowledge was that the last time Ms. Denison was photographed alive?” he asked.

“Yes,” Hunter said.

James Biela, the man charged in her death, watched the video from his seat at the defense table and then sat back in his chair, looking down when the video ended.

Hunter testified that she and Denison had joined friends at a concert before returning to the Sands Hotel Casino that January night. They went to Mel’s Diner for French fries and a milk shake before going to Hunter’s home for the night, she testified.

Denison dressed in a T-shirt and sweats before settling in on a couch with two pink blankets, a pillow and a Teddy Bear, Hunter said. Denison was sending a text message on her cell phone when Hunter went to bed in her own room, she said.

“She was texting her ex-boyfriend,” Hunter said. “She said to me earlier that night ‘I don’t know if me and my boyfriend are together anymore.’

“She was just really tired.”

Sattler asked Hunter if she had ever seen Biela before, and she said no.

When Hunter got up in the morning, Denison was no longer on the couch. Hunter said she thought Denison had gone upstairs to sleep in a roommate’s room. She knocked on her roommate’s door, which was locked, but got no answer.

That caused some alarm, she said.

“I saw that there was a red stain on the pillow,” Hunter said, but she thought it was something her dog had “chewed and made a mess of,” but looked closer later and called the police.

***

Update at 2 p.m. Brianna Denison's friend K.T. Hunter took the stand after the lunch break today in the James Biela murder and sexual assault trial.

Denison had stayed at Hunter's home the night she was abducted. Hunter is expected to testify much of the afternoon.

Before the lunch break, Judge Robert Perry asked the prosecutors how long they expected their case to take this week, and Deputy District Attorney Elliott Satter said he thought he might finish Friday, Thursday if things went smoothly.

After that, Biela's lawyers will present their case.

Biela is charged with raping and killing Denison in early 2008, and sexually assaulting two others at the end of 2007. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

_________________________

Update at 11:33 a.m.:A half dozen college students who attended the concert with Brianna Denison the last night she was seen alive testified today that nothing unusual happened that night, and said they had not seen James Biela at the parties that January evening in 2008.

Biela is charged with raping and killing Denison, 19, as well as sexually assaulting two other college students in late 2007. His trial in Washoe District Court is entering its second week.

Jessica Deal testified that she and Denison stayed at their friend, K.T. Hunter’s house after they all attended a concert and party at a downtown casino/hotel.
Deal returned to the house early because she had to work the next morning and did not hear Hunter and Denison arrive home on Jan. 20, 2008.

Initially they were not worried when the got up at about 9 a.m. and Denison was gone, Deal said.

“We started noticing her cell phone was on the counter. It was vibrating; probably a text message,” Deal said. “We looked at the pillow and there was a spot. It looked like it could have been blood,” but they let it go, thinking it might have been left by Hunter’s dog.

Deal drove Hunter to pick up her car and went to work.

The other students said they attended the concert that night, visited with Denison, and had an enjoyable time.

Ian McNenemy said he and his friend gave Denison and Hunter a ride home that night and watched them go into the house.

“Did you see anybody follow them?” Deputy District Attorney Chris Hicks asked.

“No,” McNenemy replied.

Biela’s lawyer, Maizie Pusich, asked him if Denison was sending text messages that night and was “upset with someone.”

McNenemy said she was “talking with her ex-boyfriend.”

***

Update at 10:33 a.m. Many in the courtroom wept this morning as Bridgette Denison took the stand and described the last night she saw her 19-year-old daughter, Brianna, alive.

Brianna Denison disappeared from her friend’s home Jan. 20, 2008, and was found strangled in south Reno, Feb. 15, 2008. James Biela is on trial in her death.

Bridgette Denison said her daughter had gathered a bag of clothes on Jan. 19, 2008, and headed over to her friend’s house to get ready for a concert.

“What would Brianna wear when she went to bed,” Deputy District Attorney Elliott Sattler asked.

“Brianna hated being cold,” Bridgette Denison said. “She would wear sweats and socks and a sweatshirt and a couple down comforters.”

On the morning of Jan. 20, 2008, Bridgette received a call from K.T. Hunter, saying Brianna was not in the house. She called back soon after with a different message, Bridgette said.

“She was crying -- pretty hysterical,” Bridgette said. “And she had said she looked further at everything in her apartment. She said there was blood on the pillow that Brianna was sleeping on.

“I told her to call 911 and I went to her house.”

When Bridgette Denison arrived at the house, she saw all of Brianna’s belongings, including her shoes.

“I saw the blood on her pillow,” Bridgette Denison said, adding that she followed the police around as they searched the area, and gave a DNA sample to help their efforts.

“January 19, at 8:45 p.m. -- was that the last time you saw your daughter” Sattler asked.

“Yes,” Bridgette Denison replied.

“Have you seen her since?” he asked.

“No,” she replied.

__________________

Update at 10:05 a.m. A gynecologist who specializes in sexually transmitted diseases testified today that a sexual assault victim who claims James Biela raped her in October 2007 had a different type of herpes than the type he had.

The woman had Type 2 genital herpes that she likely got from her boyfriend in September 2007, while Biela has Type 1 herpes, said Dr. Pamela Netuschil.

Netuschil said if Biela had sexually assaulted the woman, it would not be surprising that he did not get Type 2 herpes from her because it’s rare for women to give it to men.

“The tests don’t really tell us anything about the sexual assault that’s alleged at all, do they,” asked Biela’s lawyer, Maizie Pusich.

Netuschio said they do not.
___________________

Update at 9:37 a.m. The second week of the James Biela murder and sexual assault trial began with testimony from a Reno gynecologist who is an expert in sexually transmitted diseases.

A woman who testified last week said she was raped in a university parking garage and said Biela was her attacker. She also testified that she had herpes, and had contracted it from her boyfriend.

A clinic worker from Las Vegas testified last week that Biela tested positive for herpes.

Soon after Dr. Pamela Netuschil began her testimony, the court released the jury so that the defense lawyers could review the sexual assault victim’s medical records.

Biela is charged with raping and killing Brianna Denison in early 2008, and sexually assaulting two other college students in late 2007.

http://www.rgj.com/article/20100517/NEWS/100517010/-1/CARSON/Biela-trial-Denison-s-friend-K.T.-Hunter-expected-to-testify-most-of-afternoon

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

Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:26 pm

Reno Gazette Journal

May 20, 2010

Detectives and crime scene investigators expected today in Biela case

Biela Trial Enters Sixth Day The October 2007 rape at the university parking garage, the December 2007 sexual assault near an apartment near campus, and the abduction of Brianna Denison from a university-area home in 2008 were linked in other ways as well, said Det. David Jenkins. In the months that followed the discovery of Denison's body on Feb. 15, 2008, police received more than 5,000 tips in their effort to find her killer, and they collected hundreds of DNA profiles, he said. [...] state and federal law enforcement agencies from various parts of the country were involved, he said.

(link not working)

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Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:30 pm

Reno Gazette Journal

May 24, 2010

BY SIOBHAN MCANDREW

RGJ's Siobhan McAndrew at the James Biela trial: Difficult day for the defendant's ex-girlfriend

It was impossible not to feel badly for Carleen Harmon.

Harmon spent Monday afternoon testifying in the sexual assault and murder trial of her boyfriend of eight years, James Biela.

Biela is charged with two counts of sexual assault and the rape and murder of Brianna Denison.

In front of a full courtroom, Harmon, who has a son with Biela, had to answer personal and embarrassing questions about the couple’s sex life.

She was nervous. At one point, she apologized to her dad for testimony about a sexual act she likely didn’t want her father to hear.

The relationship started simply. They were introduced at Brew Brothers at the Eldorado. He was shy, and she thought of him as the guy who stayed behind the scenes.

“Once we started talking I realized he was really funny,” she said.

The couple moved in together, bought a house and had a baby.

Around the time of the sexual assaults and Denison’s disappearance, the couple started to have problems. They fought more and often he slept in a guest room in the couple’s home in Sparks.

Sometimes the fighting got so bad Biela would disappear for a day or two.

When she found thong underwear in his car, she thought he was cheating.

Descriptions about a suspect’s truck, the police sketch and even after Biela was questioned by police, Harmon believed in his innocence.

When he was upset after police questioned him, Harmon reassured him that lots of people were being questioned.

Even after she gave permission for police to take sample their son’s DNA sample,
Harmon said she was surprised the day he was arrested.

The day care center called and told Harmon she would have to pick up her son.

She said Biela was on his way.

The day care people explained that Harmon would have to pick up her son because the police were there.

Harmon testified she thought they had been in an car accident.

Later that night, in a police interrogation room, Biela and Harmon talked. The tape of the emotional conversation was released to the media this week.

The video is difficult to watch. In it, Harmon is upset and tells Biela she will get him a lawyer.

The prosecution asked Harmon, if, in the interrogation room the day he was arrested, she thought Biela had done something.

“No,” she said.

The prosecutor asked Harmon if her opinion had changed.

“Yes,” she said immediately.

http://www.rgj.com/article/20100524/NEWS01/100524049/1321/news

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Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:40 pm

Reno Gazette Journal

May 24, 2010

By Martha Bellisle

Ex-girlfriend now doubts Biela's innocence

Just after a Reno police detective told James Biela he was a suspect in the 2008 murder of Brianna Denison, Biela called his girlfriend and set up a meeting at their home.

“He was upstairs in the bedroom, and he was pacing back and forth,” Carleen Harmon testified today.

Biela told Harmon that she had to provide an alibi for him. In the days that followed, he began “drinking excessively,” she said.

Harmon said she did not challenge his demand for an alibi, even though she couldn’t provide one, and tried to calm him during that period. After he was arrested Nov. 25, 2008, she went to the police station and tried again.

“As you walked into that room, do you think he had done something then?” Deputy District Attorney Elliott Sattler asked, referring to her meeting with Biela in an interrogation room.

“No,” she said.

“You were going out of your way because you still believed in him?” Sattler said.

“Yes,” she said.

“Has that changed?” Sattler asked.

Biela’s defense lawyer objected.

Before Judge Robert Perry could rule, Harmon answered “yes.”

At the end of her testimony, the prosecution rested, and the defense began.

Biela is charged in the rape and murder of Denison in early 2008 and the sexual assault of two other women in late 2007. His trial in Washoe District Court started May 10 and is expected to go to the jury before the end of the week. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Lab criticized

The first defense witness was a DNA and paternity expert who criticized the Washoe County crime laboratory decision to use all of the swabs they collected in the case to establish DNA profiles, making it impossible to check their results.

“A better way of doing this would be to split it in half,” said Roger Vincent Miller of Chromosomal Laboratories in Phoenix, using half and if that was not enough adding the rest. “The question is was there a justification for doing this, and I’m not sure there was.”

National standards require using only a portion of samples so that the other side can retest, he said.

Miller said he saw what might have been additional DNA in one of the samples found on Denison’s body, but they could not retest to determine what they saw.

“We did find one peak that did not correspond with the victim or the defendant in this case,” he said. “It raises the question if we had been able to do an additional test” they might have found out whether there was someone else’s DNA in the swab.

Miller also criticized the crime lab for saying that Biela was the source for several of the DNA samples. He said the lab’s DNA expert is not a statistics expert and saying they are 100 percent sure is incorrect.

Deputy District Attorney Elliott Sattler began to question Miller as the Monday session ended.

Breakdown

Biela’s former girlfriend said Biela moved into her house soon after they met, and for some time, they got along “fairly good.”

Harmon said she sold her house, bought a new one in Sparks and put Biela’s name on the deed even though he did not contribute financially to the purchase. She also bought him a Toyota truck to help him get to work at Lake Tahoe in the winter, she said.

And they had a child together, she said.

“When I told him I was pregnant, he said, ‘Congratulations,’ and when I had (the son), he was really happy,” she said.

“Was he a good dad?” Sattler asked.

“Yes,” Harmon said, looking down, her voice breaking.

Harmon said they had a normal sex life and that he did not show any special interest in women’s underwear. She said she personally wore thong underwear, but “he never asked me specifically to wear them.”

But in October 2007, things changed, she said.

“He was gone a lot,” she said. “We were fighting almost every day.”

Biela developed a short temper, she said, and he was “aggravated or mad a lot.”

Often when they fought, Biela would leave the house and sometimes be gone for days, she said. He would tell her that he was sleeping in his truck. He also became more physically aggressive, punching holes in walls or throwing things, she said. But he never hit her, she said.

Underwear found

On the morning of Feb. 15, 2008, Harmon looked out her office window and saw police activity in a nearby field. She called Biela and said she believed they found Denison’s body, and Biela went silent, she said.

Harmon said she had followed the Denison case online. She said the only comment Biela ever made about the case was: “If (Denison) wasn’t hot, nobody would care. That’s why it’s getting so much attention.”

Harmon said Biela also said: “Her parents have money, and there are other people getting raped and nobody ever talks about those cases.”Biela asked to be laid off from his pipefitter’s job the day the body was found but told Harmon he had been laid off. He moved to Washington state the next month, she said.

Before the move, she helped him clean out his truck and found a pair of her son’s shoes. She said she threw them away. The December 2007 sexual assault victim testified earlier that she saw a child’s shoe in her attacker’s car.

Harmon helped Biela buy a trailer to live in while he worked in Washington. She took their son and her daughter to Washington for a two-week visit, she said, and they got along well.

Biela insisted he needed a bigger truck to pull the travel trailer and wanted to trade in his Toyota Tacoma truck. She was not happy about the trade, but “he wanted a new truck,” and he put a down payment on a new truck without telling her, she said.

Harmon went to Washington in September 2008 to help Biela move back to Reno, she said. That’s when she found the thong underwear in his truck, she said.

“The minute I got there I started searching his truck,” she said. “I started suspecting he was cheating on me.”

She lifted an armrest in the front seat and found two pairs of women’s thong underwear, small in size and pastel in color. They were used, but clean, she said.

“What was your temperature at that point?” Sattler asked.

“I was super pissed,” she said.

She called him and said, “Do you want to explain the panties I just found in your truck,” and he was silent.

“I was upset,” she said. “I found these panties, and now, I knew he was cheating on me.”

She met him at his job site, and he was angry, she said. Harmon was yelling at him as he drove erratically, speeding.

He put his finger to his head, she said, simulating shooting himself. Then, he tossed the underwear out the window.

“Tell me where you got them,” she told him. “I was going crazy the whole time. Tell me where you got these.”

“Finally, he told me he stole them from a laundry mat,” she said.

http://www.rgj.com/article/20100524/NEWS/100524061/1321/Ex-girlfriend-now-doubts-Biela-s-innocence

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

Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:49 pm

cbs news

May 25, 2010 1:31 PM

by Carlin DeGuerin Miller

Brianna Denison Update: Prosecution Rests After Ex-Girlfriend Testifies Against Accused Killer

RENO, Nev. (CBS/AP) After emotional testimony from James Biela's ex-girlfriend prosecutors rested their case against him in the Brianna Denison murder trial Monday.

Carleen Harmon testified that she followed the case closely from the day Brianna was kidnapped from a friend's home in January 2008 and actually watched as police cordoned off the area where Brianna's body was found, three weeks after she disappeared, because it was in the middle of a field just outside of Harmon's workplace.

"I read everything that came out about it," Harmon testified on the 11th day of the trial. "It was scary."

Harmon also testified that Biela, who is on trial for Brianna's kidnapping, rape and murder, seemed indifferent to the case stating that the only reason anyone cared about Brianna case was because she was "hot" and had wealthy parents.

Her relationship with Biela was at times tumultuous but despite that Harmon testified that she believed he was innocent until he was arrested, which was made possible in part because she allowed detectives to take DNA samples from their son, to help connect Biela to the crime scene.

After the prosecution rested, the defense began by calling DNA and paternity expert Roger Miller as their first witness. Miller, with Chromosomal Laboratories in Phoenix, testified that the decision by the Washoe County Crime Lab to use all the swabs involved in the case, leaving nothing for the defense to test, went directly against national standards that call for leaving some DNA evidence for the other side to test, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Prosecutors contend Biela is a serial rapist who was motivated in part by a fetish for women's thong underwear and eventually graduated to murder in a string of attacks in 2008.

Biela has pleaded not guilty to all the charges. If convicted of murder, he could face the death penalty. The jury was expected to begin deliberations before the end of the week.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20005889-504083.html

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Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:54 pm

Reno Journal Gazette

26 May 2010

Biela case could go to jury Wednesday after closing arguments

Biela is charged with five counts involving three victims: the rape and murder of Brianna Denison, the sexual assault of a student in a parking garage in October 2007, and the kidnapping and sexual assault of another student near her apartment in December 2007. CRIME LAB CHALLENGED The defense team's sole witness was a DNA expert from Arizona who criticized the Washoe County crime lab for using all of the samples as they processed swabs collected in the Denison case and the December 2007 sexual assault.

(link broken)

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Post  merlynsam on Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:58 pm

Reno Journal Gazette

28 May 2010

Biela found guilty on all 5 counts; penalty phase continues

Once James Biela was found guilty of murder, kidnapping and three sexual assault charges Thursday, the prosecutor told jurors they must now decide his punishment. Melissa Piasecki, a specialist in psychiatry and forensic psychiatry, testified that Biela had a number of traumatic childhood experiences that affected his life as an adult.

(link broken)

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Post  merlynsam on Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:02 am

cbs news

May 28, 2010 11:02 AM

Posted by Carlin DeGuerin Miller

Brianna Denison Murder Verdict: James Biela Found Guilty of Killing, Raping College Student

RENO, Nev. (CBS/AP) It took a Nevada jury just six hours to convict James Biela of the rape and murder of Brianna Denison - a little over two years after the 19-year-old's battered body was found naked in a field near Reno, Nev.

Biela was also found guilty Thursday of three other felony charges, including the rape of a woman in October 2007 and the rape and kidnapping of another woman in December 2007.

Denison, a sophomore at Santa Barbara City College, had been home visiting friends when she was kidnapped while sleeping on a friend's couch near the University of Nevada-Reno campus on Jan. 20, 2008. Her body, clad only in socks, was found in a field 26 days later beneath a discarded Christmas tree, along with two pairs of thong underwear.

The two other assault victims said their assailant took their underwear.

Biela was arrested in November of 2008 after DNA taken from his son linked Biela to Denison's murder and the rapes of the two other women in 2007.

The penalty phase began almost immediately after the verdict was read Thursday and was to continue Friday morning. Prosecutors are asking for the death penalty, arguing that Biela is a serial rapist and therefore is a continuing threat to society.

Biela's lawyers are expected to argue for life without parole. During sentencing Public Defender James Leslie will present information about Biela's violent childhood, in which his father regularly beat his mother.

"He witnessed things no child should have to witness," Leslie said. "No child should have to be down the hall with his brother listening to what is happening to his mother night after night."

In reaction to the verdict District Attorney Dick Gammick said it was well deserved.

"Cases like this always strengthen my faith and belief in the jury system," Gammick said.

Denison's family was present at the reading of the verdict, but said they would have no comment on the case until after sentencing.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20006254-504083.html

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Post  merlynsam on Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:11 am

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Jun. 02, 2010

By SCOTT SONNER

Sparks man gets death penalty in coed's slaying

RENO -- A jury sentenced a Nevada man to death Wednesday for raping and killing a college coed after sexually assaulting two others in a string of attacks that had Reno on edge for most of 2008.

The same jury that convicted James Biela, 28, last week deliberated for about nine hours before reaching a unanimous verdict to execute him by lethal injection for the 2008 rape and strangulation of Brianna Denison, 19.

Her family members burst into tears and Biela stared straight ahead as the sentence was read aloud in Washoe County District Court. The sentence will be automatically appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court.

"My heart goes out to all the innocent people who have been touched by this tragedy," said the judge, Robert Perry. He set sentencing for July 30 on other charges stemming from the Denison slaying and the sexual assault of two other young women.

As Biela was handcuffed and led away by a court marshal, he turned to his mother and apologized.

"I'm sorry. I (expletive) up," he said.

The pipe fitter and ex-Marine from Sparks apologized Tuesday, saying he regretted that he would not be able to see his son grow up. His public defenders urged the seven women and five men of the jury to consider that he had no previous criminal record and had been abused growing up in poverty in the Chicago area.

But Denison's family and Washoe County prosecutors called death the only appropriate penalty for her slaying in January 2008 during a series of assaults that began months before on the edge of the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno.

Denison's mother, Bridgette Denison, handed small blue bags of mementoes to prosecutors and police with buttons bearing her daughter's photo and the words "Bring Bri Justice."

Similar buttons were distributed during the search for Denison's body in 2008.

"It sickens me to know my poor baby girl was with you the last moments of her life," Bridgette Denison told Biela on Tuesday. "I know that James Biela is asking for mercy. I do not believe he deserves any mercy."

Deputy District Attorney Elliott Sattler said he agreed with public defenders who said the death penalty should be reserved for the "worst of the worst."

But he said Biela fit that category because he strangled Denison with thong underwear.

"He could have used his bare hands," Sattler said. "He chose not to do that. He killed her in a sick and sadistic way that was directly tied into what he had done earlier."

Detectives called the slaying the work of a serial rapist who stalked petite women and had a fetish for thongs. The two other assault victims said their assailant took their panties during attacks at or near UNR in the fall of 2007.

Denison, a sophomore at California's Santa Barbara City College, was home visiting friends during winter break when she was abducted Jan. 20, 2008, while sleeping on a friend's couch near the UNR campus.

Her body, clad only in socks, was found in a field 26 days later, beneath a discarded Christmas tree along with two pairs of women's thong underwear. Police determined one undergarment had been stolen from Denison's friend and was used to strangle Denison.

Denison's family and friends tied blue ribbons around fence posts and trees, and police reported receiving thousands of tips and calls to an anonymous hot line. Biela was arrested in November 2008 when he went to pick his son up at preschool.

Police said he was identified through DNA compared with samples that Biela's ex-girlfriend let police obtain from their son.

Lawyers for both sides put the death penalty itself on trial during closing arguments Tuesday.

Public defender Maizie Pusich argued that sentencing Biela to life in prison without parole was enough to punish Biela and protect the public.

"The way to prevent this sort of tragedy in the future is not to kill Mr. Biela," she said. "Death does not bring peace or renewal to anyone."

The last time a Washoe County jury issued a death sentence was for Tamir Hamilton, now 32. He was convicted in 2008 of raping and killing Holly Quick, 16, of Sparks, in September 2006.

http://www.lvrj.com/news/sparks-man-gets-death-penalty-in-coed-s-slaying-95467784.html?ref=784

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

Post  merlynsam on Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:20 am

cbs News

June 03, 2010

by Carlin DeGuerin Miller

Brianna Denison's Killer, James Biela, Gets Death; Mom Says "He Messed With the Wrong Family"

Reno, Nev. (CBS/AP) Brianna Denison's family may feel a measure of closure after seeing her killer, serial rapist James Biela, sentenced to death Wednesday. For Brianna's mother, however, the vindication is palpable.

"When James Michael Biela messed with my little girl, he messed with the wrong families," Bridgette Denison said after the sentencing, "[He messed with] the wrong women, and the wrong city and state."

The same jury that last week convicted the 28-year-old Biela, deliberated for about nine hours before reaching a unanimous verdict to execute him by lethal injection.

Before sentencing deliberations began, the pipe fitter and ex-marine from Sparks, Nev. apologized in court Tuesday, saying he regretted that he would not be able to see his son grow up.

His public defenders urged the jury to consider that he had no previous criminal record and grew up in an abusive, impoverished home in the Chicago area where his father brutally beat his mother on almost a daily basis.

But the jury ultimately decided an unfortunate childhood did not absolve him of Brianna's brutal rape and murder or of the multiple assaults he committed in 2007.

As Biela was being led out of the courtroom he turned to his mother and apologized.

"He said `Don't cry.' He said he loved us,"' Kathy Lovell told reporters later.

Brianna, a sophomore at California's Santa Barbara City College, was home visiting friends during winter break when she was abducted Jan. 20, 2008, while sleeping on a friend's couch near the UNR campus.

"It started probably one of the most massive manhunts I've ever seen for a missing person in this community," Washoe County District Attorney Dick Gammick said Wednesday. "Nothing we do here can bring Brianna Denison back, but I think I can stand here now and say we did bring Bri justice," he said.

Biela's sentence will be automatically appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20006731-504083.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CBSNewsOpinionGarver+%28CBS+News%3A+Opinion%3A+Garver%29


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

Post  merlynsam on Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:25 am

mynews4

Tuesday June 22, 2010

Sen. Reid meets with slain woman’s mom to discuss DNA law

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., Tuesday met with Bridgette Denison, mother of Brianna Denison, a Reno woman who was raped and murdered in 2008. DNA that was discovered in the investigation implicated the suspect-James Biela, who was later found guilty and has been sentenced to death.

Denison and Reid spoke about the Katie Sepich Enhanced DNA Collection Act of 2010 , which increases Byrne grants for states that implement DNA collection programs for people who are arrested for the commission of a violent crime.

Denison is lobbying the state legislature for a bill that would require DNA collection for suspects arrested for violent felonies in order to make Nevada eligible for the increased Byrne funding.

"What happened to Brianna Denison was an absolute tragedy," Reid said. "I believe we must do more to capture DNA samples from criminals, and I respect her mother's efforts to honor her daughter's memory by advocating for law enforcement funding that will save lives by identifying violent offenders earlier through DNA cataloging. I encourage the state Legislature to pass a bill in their next session that will enable Nevada law enforcement to collect samples from violent offenders, so we don't have to lose another bright, young Nevadan like Brianna."

http://www.mynews4.com/story.php?id=20849&n=122

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Post  merlynsam on Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:30 am

Associated Press

30/07/2010

By MARTIN GRIFFITH

Biela gets life prison on top of NV death row

RENO, Nev.—An ex-Marine and pipefitter already on his way to Nevada's death row death for the murder of a 19-year-old college coed was sentenced to four additional life prison terms on Friday on charges tied to sexual assaults on two other young women.

James Biela, 29, was convicted in June of strangling Brianna Denison and jurors voted unanimously to execute him by lethal injection.

Washoe County District Judge Robert Perry on Friday added the four life terms—to be served consecutively—for the rape of Denison and two other women and the kidnapping of one of them.

"Not only were these people terrorized, but the community was terrorized," the judge said. "My first concern is the safety of the community."

The string of crimes around the University of Nevada, Reno campus began in October 2007 and culminated in Denison's death in early 2008.

Perry imposed the maximum sentences at the urging of one of the victims, who gave emotional testimony concerning Biela's October 2007 rape of her at gunpoint in a UNR parking garage.

The woman said while she has since gone on to graduate from UNR, get married and become pregnant with her first child, the sexual assault has "killed the trusting, vivacious woman I was." Only her Christian faith has helped her deal with the "actions of evil" she was subjected to, she added.

Biela looked down throughout her testimony and avoided eye contact.

"Mr. Biela, I wish you would look

at me," she said. "Despite the fact you committed the most unforgivable act, I forgive you for everything you put me through. I pray you find peace with God because he's the only one who can save you."

Perry said he would sign the formal death warrant and set the date for Biela's execution by Aug. 16. That will trigger an automatic appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.

Deputy District Attorney Elliott Sattler said during the 30-minute hearing on Friday that the additional maximum sentences were needed to guard against the chance that the death penalty is overturned on appeal.

"One never knows what will happen to the death penalty," Sattler said after the hearing. "But I have no reason to believe he'll ever be released from the Nevada state prison system."

In the event the death penalty is thrown out, Biela would have to serve a minimum of 36 years in prison on the other charges before he would be considered for parole, Sattler said. Each of the three sexual assault charges carries a minimum of 10 years and the kidnapping charge five years. One of the attacks also carries at least one additional year for use of a gun.

Biela's public defender asked that the sentences run concurrently.

The other rape victim chose not to testify because she wants to put the case behind her, Sattler said, adding she has returned to her native Taiwan. She was sexually assaulted in December 2007 after being abducted from near the UNR campus.

Biela and Denison's mother, Bridgette Denison, also declined to testify Friday.

Denison, a sophomore at Santa Barbara City College in California, was home visiting friends when she was kidnapped in January 2008 while sleeping on a friend's couch near the UNR campus. Her body, clothed only in socks, was found in a vacant Reno lot less than a month later with two pair of thong underwear.

Detectives said it was the work of a serial rapist who stalked petite women and had a fetish for thong underwear.

Before imposing the sentences, Perry acknowledged Biela's abusive childhood. Beila grew up in poverty in a household where his father regularly beat his mother.

"It's an obligation to play with the cards we're dealt with," the judge told Biela.

Sattler said it also was important to give Biela the maximum sentence on each charge to honor each victim.

"You probably have to know he's one of the most dangerous people you could ever have before you," Sattler told the judge. "He's one of the worst of the worst."

http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_15641105

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

Post  merlynsam on Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:35 am

kolo tv

Jul 30, 2010

Pregnant Rape Victim Forgives James Biela In Court

James Biela's death sentence gets steeper, as his first rape victim forgives him for robbing her of happiness.

Nearly two months after a Washoe County jury sentenced him to death, the punishment for convicted rapist and killer James Biela just got even steeper.

Judge Robert Perry handed down an additional sentence to Biela, life with the possibility of parole for each of three counts of rape, and one count of kidnapping. This, to be tacked onto his death sentence for the January 2007 murder of 19-year-old college student Brianna Denison.

Compared to a nearly month-long trial, the sentencing Friday morning was very brief. Judge Perry says while James Biela is already facing capital punishment, the judge felt the need to tack on an additional sentence, in order to honor the other two rape victims in this case.

Only one woman took the stand. James Biela's first rape victim, who revealed that she and her husband are now several months pregnant with a baby girl. But she says these joyous moments in her life have been overshadowed by tragedy. The victim asked James Biela to look at her, while she told him how the night he raped her at gunpoint has altered her life forever.

"Though you didn't murder me, you killed the trusting and vivacious woman I was moments before you turned my world upside down," she said, reading from a piece of paper.


Brianna Denison's family attended the sentencing, offering support to the other two rape victims. Her aunt Lauren says she was pleased with the outcome, and happy to see James Biela once again dressed like a prisoner, his shackles clinking on their way in and out of the courtroom.

"When you go out and rape and pillage a community, and run amuck...yeah, he's dressed for the success he created for himself," said Denison.

Biela stayed silent throughout the sentencing, and never once looked up at his victim...quietly accepting the punishment handed down to him. After court adjourned, attorneys on both sides of the case reacted to the sentence.

"The biggest concern is protection of the community. That's why the state asked for the maximum sentence possible because regardless of what happens with each individual case, we want to keep James Biela off the streets for the rest of his life," said Deputy District Attorney Elliott Sattler.

"He's holding up pretty well. He was a model inmate before. He still is. He's easy to talk to. He's polite, professional. It actually makes me feel pretty bad," said James Biela's public defense attorney, Maizie Pusich.

Even the jury that recommended the death penalty for James Biela was in the courtroom, although they were not required to be. One of them, who we'll call "Roberta," says while she and the other 13 members have resumed their lives, the trial and the victims will always stick with them.

"Being in a trial of this magnitude and importance, we felt it was important to see the process through," said "Roberta.

Prosecutor Elliott Sattler says maximum sentences were necessary in this case just incase any of the convictions are overturned on appeal. Ffr instance, if the death penalty sentence is thrown out, Biela would still have to serve a minimum of 36 years in prison before being considered for parole.

Judge Perry says he plans to set the date for Biela's execution by mid August. Once that happens, there will be an automatic appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.

In the meantime, James Biela is being held in the special housing unit at the Washoe County Jail.

http://www.kolotv.com/news/headlines/99660154.html

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

Post  merlynsam on Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:40 am



RIP BRIANNA

REST IN PEACE KNOWING JUSTICE IS DONE

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