LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Nevada Supreme Court has thrown out a conviction and life-in-prison sentence in a child rape case, citing misconduct by a judge who berated a woman before dismissing her from jury service.
A ruling Thursday says Clark County District Court Judge Richard Scotti tainted the jury that eventually was chosen with a frustrated outburst that included throwing a book at a wall, swearing and threatening repercussions after the woman said she couldn't be unbiased.
The woman said she was a nurse who had seen the effects of child sexual abuse in her job.
Justices said they couldn't be confident the judge's actions didn't affect the guilty verdicts the jury delivered in 2017 against Jose Azucena on 40 charges including child sexual assault, lewdness and kidnapping.
Azucena was granted a new trial before a different judge.