May 15, 2002, By GLENN PUIT, Las Vegas Review-Journal
19-year-old defendant might take stand in her own defense
By GLENN PUIT, May 15, 2002 Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal
The man Kirstin Lobato is accused of killing was a crack-smoking rapist who attacked a Las Vegas woman just a week before he was slain, according to courtroom testimony Tuesday.
Also during Lobato’s murder trial on Tuesday, a defense attorney confirmed that Lobato might take the witness stand today to testify in her own defense.
“It’s a strong possibility,” Clark County Deputy Special Public Defender Gloria Navarro said when asked whether her client would testify.
Lobato, 19, is charged with murder in the death of Duran Bailey, 44. Bailey’s body was found behind a trash bin in a Flamingo Road parking lot last July.
Testimony in Lobato’s trial over the past week has indicated Bailey was subjected to a brutal attack, and that his killer severed his penis and stabbed him in the rectum after death.
Police have testified during the trial that incriminating statements Lobato made to police detectives and others led to her being identified as a suspect.
When defense attorneys began presenting witnesses Tuesday, the first witness they called was a Las Vegas woman who reported being raped by Bailey just a week before he was found slain.
The woman described Bailey as a homeless man who smoked crack cocaine. She said she had consensual intercourse on numerous occasions with Bailey, with whom she would often trade sex for drugs.
A week before the slaying, the woman said Bailey slapped her in the face. The woman said she then told Bailey she wanted nothing more to do with him.
But within days, Bailey forced his way into her apartment off West Flamingo Road and raped her at knifepoint, she said.
“He pushed me down on the bed and I said ‘No,’ ” the woman testified. “He said, ‘I’m going to get what I want this time,’ and he proceeded to rape me.”
The woman said she was badly beaten by Bailey but that she did not immediately report the matter to police.
“I had a warrant,” the woman explained.
Eventually, though, she did report the rape and police told her they were investigating the allegations when Bailey was found killed.
The woman testified that she went to the scene of the slaying after hearing a news report about the discovery of the body. She said she wanted to see whether the dead man was Bailey.
“I was curious if it was him,” she said.
On cross-examination, Clark County Deputy District Attorney Sandra DiGiacomo sought to forestall any effort by the defense to throw suspicion on the witness.
“Did you kill Duran?” DiGiacomo asked.
“No,” the woman replied.
“Did you ask anyone to kill Duran?” the prosecutor asked.
“No,” the woman said.