Back in 2001, news of a extra horrific crime became known. A homeless man was found dead in a dumpster and his penis was cut off. It was a brutal crime.
Here’s some background on the case. Kirstin Lobato was better known as “Blaise” back in 2001 when she was 18 years old. She was the proud owner of a 1984 red Pontiac Fiero boasting the license plate 4NIK8R.
Kirstin Lobato initially told police she wielded her butterfly knife in self-defense when Duran Bailey, who was known to have traded drugs for sex, supposedly tried to rape her in a bank parking in July of 2001. She also allegedly told the police, “I didn’t think anyone would miss somebody like that
Not surprisingly after that statement, Lobato was arrested.
She was surprisingly though released on house arrest after she said that the she was sexually assaulted by a distant relative as a child.
The Chief Deputy District Attorney at the time, Eric Jorgenson was opposed the house arrest citing the, vicious, vicious” attack. Nevertheless, Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Pro Tem Michael C. Van allowed the house arrest even while ruling that there was sufficient evidence for Kirstin Lobato to stand trial in District Court on a charge of murder with the use of a deadly weapon.
Was this truly a case of self defense? Not only was Bailey’s penis severed, evidence suggests that he was so severely beaten that his skull was fractured and several of his teeth were knocked out after being beaten with a bat. In addition to his penis being severed, his rectum was also slashed. Whoever was responsible for this beating and death was clearly in a rage.
Kirstin Lobato was fingered as a suspect after she told Dixie Tienken, a teacher who she some type of relationship with, that a man tried to rape her and added disturbing details.
Tienken told Laura Johnson, a juvenile probation officer in Lincoln County, of the disturbing conversations she had with Lobato . The probation officer then called a sergeant from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, who confirmed that there had been an incident just like that what was described in Las Vegas. Laura Johnson was then directed to contact Metro’s homicide department.
It has not been make clear if Lobato had been in trouble with the law as a juvenile. Most 18 year olds do not have “special” teachers as friends who in turn have a working relationship with a juvenile probation officer.
“She told me a man had attempted to rape her. … that he pushed her down and she took out a knife and cut off his penis,” Tienken testified.
Las Vegas Homicide Detective Thomas Thowsen said Lobato told police she was in the midst of a methamphetamine-induced haze when she cut off Bailey’s penis during a sexual assault. She had allegedly been awake for 3 days.
She also said she only vaguely remembers the incident, and said she thought Bailey was alive when she left the scene. “She said he was still crying,” Thowsen said.
Thowsen said the knife used in the attack was never recovered. Lobato told police she may have thrown it away or traded it for drugs.
To the lay person it sure seems like all the information that was needed for a murder conviction was there.
She was indeed convicted and sentenced to serve between 40 and 100 years in prison by District Judge Valorie Vega.
Before her conviction, Kirstin Lobato rejected a plea agreement that would have given her three years in prison.
Two years later, the Nevada Supreme Court granted Lobato a new trial. The court ruled that Vega should have given Lobato the chance to present evidence challenging the credibility of a jailhouse informant who had testified against her.
In her second trial in 2006, her attorneys said Lobato was attacked by a man who tried to rape her. They said she took a knife, slashed at his penis and then fled.
She pleaded for mercy and said before sentencing, “I want to apologize for us even having to be here. Please don’t send me to prison. Let me prove I’m not a waste.”
She was sentenced by Vega to a sentence of 13 years to 45 years in prison.
Prosecutors Bill Kephart urged Vega to follow the state Department of Parole and Probation’s sentencing recommendation. He played 2 telephone conversations of Kirstin Lobato in court to support his stance that Lobato is a dangerous criminal. On the first call, she swears and talks about being depressed and wanting to kill herself.
In the second conversation, she told her fiance that she’s probably going to get in a fight while incarcerated. He told her not to, and she responded that no matter how good her behavior is, the judge, who she described with an expletive, “is going to give me as much time as she can.”
Kephart said Lobato is unable to control herself emotionally and goes hot and cold in a matter of minutes while on the phone with her supportive fiance.
“She doesn’t feel she’s done anything wrong. She’s never taken responsibility for this,” Kephart said.
The alleged sexual assault of Lobato herself was mentioned again. Lobato allegedly suffered extensive sexual abuse as a 5-year-old by her mother’s boyfriend, with her mother’s consent and knowledge, and molested again at ages 13 and 17.
Lobato also faced a new felony charge in District Court of voluntary sexual conduct with another prisoner.
“It’s a sex crime,” Kephart said of the new offense, comparing it to the sexual nature of the 2001 mutilation.
This year, the admitted killer’s attorney asked the Nevada Supreme Court to throw out her most recent conviction or grant her a new trial because her attorney’s argued, a police detective testified at her most recent trial that she “minimized” her involvement in the slaying of Duran Bailey and that the detective wasn’t allowed to express an opinion on whether Lobato was telling the truth.
Although the case may have seemed like a slam dunk to many, the above is just one side to this multifaceted case.
In a case that has now captured nearly worldwide attention, a box filled with nearly 130,000 signatures had made it’s way to the Clark Country District Attorney, Steve Wolfson, petitioning for new DNA testing in the case. DNA testing has not been performed and requests for testing have been denied in the past because of the possibility of too many people’s DNA being present in the area.
A number of organizations are staunch supporters of Lobato’s innocence and have taken up Lobato’s cause. They say that when Kirstin Lobato talked about cutting another mans penis because he attacked her, that she wasn’t talking about the deceased victim. They say she was talking about someone else. Her supporters also say that she was not even in Las Vegas at the time of the murder
There are sites such as Justice4Kirstin who are in support of Kirstin Lobato’s innocence and believe that DNA testing can exonerate her. The Innocence Project has reportedly offered to pay the costs of DNA testing. Their website says,
Kirstin Blaise Lobato is an innocent 29 year old woman who was wrongfully convicted of murder in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2002. Despite the fact that no DNA evidence found at the scene tied her to the crime and multiple alibi witnesses were available to testify that she was 170 miles away the day the murder occurred in Las Vegas, she has spent the last ten years of her life in prison.
Injustice Busters claims that “She had successfully fought off her attacker with a knife attack to the crotch” the previous weekend and not the weekend that the homeless alleged drug dealer was mutilated. They further sate that she was at her parents home in Panaca, NV which is located 170 miles from Las Vegas.
Will the petition that Clark Country District Attorney Steve Wolfson received petitioning for DNA testing in the case be approved? Will Kirstin “Blaise” Lombato get out of jail or continue to serve out her current sentence?