Judge To Review Challenge In Reno Murder Case

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Chief Clark County District Judge Kathy
Hardcastle has been assigned by the state Supreme Court to decide
whether to name a new judge in the plea-withdrawal case of Darren
Mack, imprisoned for killing his wife and shooting their divorce judge in Reno.

Clark County District Judge Douglas Herndon is scheduled to preside over an April 15 hearing on Mack's plea withdrawal request. But Mack's lawyer, William Routsis, moved to disqualify him. Hardcastle plans to issue a decision on April 14.

Mack pleaded guilty to murder in the June 2006 stabbing death of his wife, Charla, and the equivalent of no contest to attempted murder in the sniper-style shooting the same day of Family Court Judge Chuck Weller. Weller, who had been handling Mack's bitter divorce case, has recovered from his wounds.

In February, Herndon sentenced Mack to a minimum of 36 years in
prison. Routsis contends that Herndon's involvement in Mack's pleas
was improper.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-04-04-08 2101EDT