The 34-year-old Kirstin Lobato was convicted in 2002 of the murder and mutilation of a homeless man in Las Vegas. After serving 16 years in prison she was released yesterday. The woman, who always denied her involvement, was mainly due to the efforts of the Innocence Project.
In May 2001, the 18-year-old Kirstin Lobato was attacked in a parking lot of a motel in Las Vegas by a man who was trying to rape her. The woman grabbed a small knife she had recently received from her father to defend herself in an emergency. She stabbed the attacker in his penis. The man fell to the ground and Lobato was able to escape. Once at home she told several friends and relatives of her escape and that she had stabbed the man in his genitals.
Two months later, next to a garbage container in the parking lot of a bank in Las Vegas, the body of the homeless Duran Bailey was found. His brains were smashed in, his teeth punched out of his mouth and his penis was cut off.
Two weeks after the murder of Bailey, the police in Las Vegas receive a phone call from someone from Kirsten’s hometown who heard that another resident of the city had cut off a man’s penis. The police eventually knocked on the door of Lobato who remembered she had stabbed a man in his penis two months earlier. The detectives see this statement of the then 18-year-old woman as a confession to the murder of Duran Bailey and arrest her.
Although neighbors and family members provided an alibi for the teenager, she was still found guilty of the murder of Duran Bailey and sentenced to serve 100 years in prison. This sentence was later reduced to 45 years. The police and the public prosecutor refused to investigate different scenarios. For example, the full story of a woman raped by Duran Bailey was never investigated. Friends of the woman threatened that they would make Bailey pay for his actions. The body of Bailey was not found not far from the apartment of the raped woman.
Kirstin Lobato was convicted by a jury, on the basis of her statement that she had stabbed a man in his penis two months before the actual murder.