August 28, 2014
A 30-year-old woman has been convicted of first-degree murder in the November 2002 shooting death of a man at a Reno hotel.
A Washoe District Court jury on Friday also found Melonie Sheppard guilty of conspiring to rob Robert Johnson at the City Heart Hotel.
The same jury is scheduled to return Wednesday to consider a penalty for Sheppard, who faces a maximum sentence of two life prison terms.
Mikysha Belvin testified that Sheppard told her Johnson owed her money for sexual services she had provided. Sheppard wanted to use Belvin's gun to return to his room and take his money, Belvin added.
And although Kyle Woolfe was the one struggling with Johnson when the gun went off, Sheppard is still guilty of murder, prosecutors claimed.
"She provided the target. She provided the key and gave the directions to her co-conspirators," said Chief Deputy District Attorney Karl Hall.
But Sheppard's lawyer, John Calvert, told jurors that the blame for the robbery and shooting lies with Woolfe, not Sheppard.
Woolfe and Belvin have pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and are scheduled to be sentenced March 3.