Mack Avoids Death Penalty


A wealthy Reno businessman won't face the
death penalty if convicted of killing his estranged wife and
shooting the judge who was handling their divorce, prosecutors
said.
Assistant Clark County District Attorney Christopher Lalli said
the decision was made Monday after a meeting of a review committee.
Clark County took over prosecution of the case after Washoe
County District Attorney Dick Gammick, citing his longtime
friendship with Mack and his own role in negotiating Mack's
surrender, recused his office.
Lalli did not detail what factors were considered in reaching
the decision, saying that "it's an exercise of prosecutorial
discretion."
Mack, 45, is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday on charges of
stabbing his estranged wife, Charla, to death in the garage of his
townhouse on June 12, then shooting Washoe Family Court Judge Chuck
Weller through a window as he stood in his third-floor chambers.
The judge survived.
Mack fled after the shooting and surrendered to authorities 11
days later in Mexico.
Defense lawyer Scott Freeman said he was pleased by the decision
his client won't face a possible death sentence.
"We didn't believe it was that type of case," Freeman said.
"But it's very good news. Now, we have the opportunity to proceed
with the case and focus on the arraignment Wednesday."
Soorya Townley, Charla Mack's mother, said it was a difficult
issue, but she agreed with the prosecutor's decision.
"I don't think it would be good for his children," she said.
"For the children's sake, it's for the best."
Visiting Clark County District Judge Douglas Herndon was
appointed to preside over the case after all Washoe County judges
were disqualified because of possible conflicts.


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