Kirsten Lobato to begin new evidentiary hearing process 15 years after murder conviction

Prosecutors have twice proved to a jury that an 18-year-old Kirstin Lobato killed and dismembered a homeless man back in 2001.

Powerful evidence during trial came from Lobato herself in a recorded interview with detectives where she described a sexual assault.

Duran Bailey's body would be discovered later behind a dumpster where the Palms Hotel now stands. Prosecutors believe Lobato's statement was a confession and that she was fueled by meth the day of the killing.

RELATED | New hearing ordered for Kirstin Lobato, convicted of brutally killing a homeless man

Lobato has maintained her innocence and has filed several appeals and motions.

"There's already been a ruling from the supreme court saying you're going to get an evidentiary hearing on certain issues," Judge Stefany Miley said during a hearing Wednesday.

Judge Miley spoke to her new attorneys about setting a date for an evidentiary hearing to discuss several issues regarding Lobato's case including the possibility of new evidence.

"You cannot commit a crime when you're 170 miles away," said Michelle Ravell, Lobato's surrogate mother.

Ravell believes Lobato was in her hometown of Panaca during the time of the alleged killing and shouldn't have been convicted. Lobato's former defense attorney Phil Kohn agrees she's innocent.

"There's no evidence whatsoever that ties her into this crime other than her statement and I think the statement was not complete by any means," said Kohn.

Lobato will soon be represented by the Innocence Project's Barry Scheck and local powerhouse attorney David Chesnoff.

RELATED | Death in the Desert: 15 years later, a conviction turns into a desperate plea for freedom

Chesnoff has represented notable high profile clients like Paris Hilton and Bruno Mars.

In a letter sent to News 3, last February Lobato is hopeful her case will take a turn.

She writes, "I just have to be patient because the evidence in my case speaks for itself. The science doesn't lie."

The evidentiary hearing has yet to be scheduled but is expected to happen in either May or June.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off