Righetti, War Machine jury trials set to begin Monday; first Bundy trial resumes

Regional Justice Center (Phillip Moyer | News3LV)

Two jury trials are expected to begin Monday at the Regional Justice Center, including a death penalty case that resulted in the death a 15-year-old girl more than five years ago.

More than a year ago, Javier Righetti, 24, plead guilty to capital murder in a case that shocked Las Vegas for its brutality: the rape, torture, killing and mutilation of a 15-year-old girl abducted on her way home from school.

Righetti pleaded guilty in February with no promise that he wouldn't be put to death for the September 2011 slaying of Arbor View High School sophomore Alyssa Otremba, who had texted her mom that she was walking home.

He pleaded guilty to 10 counts, including murder with a deadly weapon, first-degree kidnapping and sexual assault with a child in Alyssa’s death.

His plea to nine counts stands, but the Nevada Supreme Court last month upheld a lower court decision rejecting a plea on the murder charge.

On the 10th count, the plea lacked an admission that the killing was premeditated, which prosecutors said should have been included. Such an admission allows prosecutors to ask a jury to consider more factors regarding the severity of the crime when weighing Righetti’s sentence.

With the deal rejected, Righetti will go on trial. A judge ruled late last month that he was mentally capable of facing the death penalty. If a jury votes for the death penalty, he will be sent to Nevada’s death row at Ely, where he would be the youngest man in one of the solitary cells, isolated 23 hours every day.

In another case, opening statements in War Machine's (formerly known as Jonathan Koppenhaver) trial for allegedly attacking adult film actress Christine Mackinday and a man in August 2014 are planned. Jury selection began last week and is expected to be completed this morning in Courtroom 15B at the RJC.

At the federal courthouse on Las Vegas Boulevard, the first trial in the Cliven Bundy ranch standoff in Bunkerville will begin another week of testimony at 8 a.m.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off