Trial begins in Elko for man accused in stolen truck killing

Elko, Nevada (AP) 6-08

A murder trial is under way in Elko for a man who was found passed out in the truck of another man whose body was found in the remote northern Nevada desert.

Winston Bruce Kelly, 35, of Winnemucca, was arrested by authorities in Mountain Home, Idaho, on April 10, 2007, after he was found passed out in a pickup truck belonging to Peter Carl Braun.

Kelly was charged with open murder when Braun’s body was found the next day in the desert on the Duck Water Reservation about 10 miles west of Owyhee along the Idaho line.

In his opening statement to jurors, Chief Deputy District Attorney Mark Torvinen said Kelly was highly intoxicated when confronted by an Idaho police officer.

Torvinen said when asked where he got the truck, Kelly responded: “I don’t give a damn. Arrest me.”

Kelly’s public defender, Fred Lee, urged jurors to keep an open mind until all the testimony is presented. The trial is expected to last until mid June.

Braun, 58, died of multiple stab wounds to the head, face, neck and chest, according to testimony provided at Kelly’s preliminary hearing earlier this year.

Authorities believe he was killed along a remote gravel road in Midas.

Braun, of Sun Valley near Reno, had been in Elko to visit his children and a former wife with whom he remained on good terms, authorities said.

“This is a case about fate,” Torvinen said. “It’s about bad luck.”

Torvinen said Braun reportedly met Kelly at the Battle Mountain Smoke Shop, where Kelly bummed a ride either to Winnemucca to the west or the Duck Valley Indian Reservation to the north.

Torvinen said surveillance video from the smoke shop and gas station shows Kelly and Braun meeting.

Torvinen also told jurors Kelly’s cousin will testify the man intended to kill Braun and steal the motor out of his GMC pickup to put in one of his vehicles.

 

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