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One of Officer James Hoff’s convicted killers denied parole

Fred Stites, convicted in the Officer James Hoff murder, addresses the NV Board of Pardons.
Fred Stites, convicted in the Officer James Hoff murder, addresses the NV Board of Pardons.(NV Board of Pardons)
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 11:50 AM PDT
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - The Nevada Board of Pardons has denied a request to commute the sentence of Fred Stites, one of the four men convicted in the 1979 kidnapping and murder of Reno Police Officer James Hoff.

Officer Hoff was working an undercover drug sting along the Truckee River in West Reno when four young men stabbed Hoff several times. Hoff’s body was dumped on Dog Valley Road near the Verdi Summit.

Stites and David Lani were sentenced to life. Edward Wilson and John Olausen were sentenced to death for the murder, but Olausen’s sentence was commuted to life without the possibility of parole in 1989.

Stites asked the Pardons Board to commute his sentence. After hearing testimony, Justice Kristina Pickering made a motion, not to grant Stites parole, but to make him eligible for parole. That motion failed by a 7 to 2 vote, so Stites will continue to serve his life sentence.

In 2008, the Pardons Board denied a request to commute Olausen’s sentence to time served.

The James D. Hoff Peace Officer Memorial in Reno was named in Officer Hoff’s honor.

The Nevada Board of Pardons consists of the Governor, Attorney General and the Nevada Supreme Court Justices.

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