Carson City DA to Retry Man in 20-Year-Old Murder Case - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Carson City DA to Retry Man in 20-Year-Old Murder Case

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The Carson City District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that it would retry Peter Elvik for charges related to the death of William Gibson over 20 years ago.  

The body of 63-year-old Gibson was discovered at the Carson City Rifle and Pistol range early in the morning on August 31, 1995. He had been shot and killed by multiple shots from a shotgun. His car and personal belongings had been stolen. Authorities say investigators located Elvik in southern California, where he had driven Gibson’s car after allegedly shooting him. They say Elvik claimed he had killed Gibson in self-defense. He was 14 years old at the time.

Elvik initially stood trial in 1996. A jury convicted him of first degree murder and robbery with the use of a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for the murder and a consecutive term of incarceration for the robbery. The DA’s Office says after a series of appeals, United Stated District Judge Gloria Navarro reversed Elvik’s convictions in 2013, determining the jury had not been properly instructed. The federal court ruled that due to Elvik’s age, the trial judge needed to instruct the jury that the prosecution was required to prove by “clear evidence” Elvik knew the “wrongfulness” of his conduct at the time Gibson was killed. The decision was appealed to a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit which eventually upheld the reversal, 2 to 1.

That put the case back with the Carson City District Attorney’s Office. The federal court gave the Office 30 days to decide whether to retry the case. District Attorney Jason Woodbury stated his office had been working since that time to locate witnesses who testified in the original trial. 

Elvik was granted parole in June. 

Woodbury said he expected the trial to last about three weeks.  A start date has not been announced. 

(Carson City District Attorney’s Office contributed to this report.) 

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