Winnemucca man convicted in 2007 murder

Elko, Nevada (AP) 6-08

A Winnemucca man has been convicted of first-degree murder in the 2007 stabbing death of a 58-year-old man.

It took an Elko County District Court jury less than two hours June 5 to find Winston Kelly, 36, guilty of the murder and robbery of Peter Braun, of Sun Valley near Reno.

Kelly was arrested on drunken driving charges by authorities in Mountain Home, Idaho on April 10, 2007 after he was found passed out in Braun’s pickup truck.

Braun’s body was found 11 miles northwest of Owyhee the next day. Authorities believe he was killed along a remote gravel road in Midas.

Prosecutors 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 Reservation to the north.

They said Kelly intended to kill Braun and steal the motor out of his pickup to put in one of his vehicles.

Deputy District Attorney Mark Torvinen urged the jury to use common sense in evaluating the evidence.

Torvinen said evidence showed a violent struggle occurred, and the knife used to kill Braun was found in the back of the pickup.

Public Defender Fred Lee cited sloppy police work and a lack of reliable evidence in urging jurors to clear Kelly of the charges.

Lee said evidence along the Midas road was compromised when sheriff’s deputies left the scene unattended for hours due to miscommunication.

Under state law, the jury will sentence Kelly for the murder charge. He could face life in prison without parole, 20 years to life in prison or 20 to 50 years.

District Judge Michael Memeo will sentence Kelly for the robbery charge, which carries up to 15 years in prison.