Man gets life in prison for murder in downtown casino

Mugshot courtesy Washoe County jail
By  | 

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) A man who erupted after losing a casino bet has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing a casino employee.

September 30, 2016, Reno Police were called to the Eldorado casino in downtown Reno. They determined Frederick Borden, now 65 years old, had been playing blackjack when he lost a bet and abruptly got up from the gaming table, grabbed the gaming chips he had lost, and began walking away. 52-year-old James Bryant, an Eldorado assistant shift manager, moved toward Borden to try to stop him. Borden punched Bryant in the face. Borden left the casino; Bryant collapsed to the floor and was taken to a hospital, where he died the next day of a torn right vertebral artery.

Detectives tracked Borden and first arrested him for robbery, but added additional charges after findings by the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office. At the end of a trial in Washoe District Court, he was found guilty of Murder in the First Degree, Robbery, and Fraudulent Acts Concerning Gaming. He also pleaded guilty to one count of Grand Larceny for an unrelated theft from a casino valued at more than $2,000.

At sentencing, Chief Deputy District Attorney Zach Young argued for the life sentence based on the "senseless killing of Mr. Bryant. Borden’s significant criminal history included prior incidents of violence, his absolute refusal to comply with societal standards and poor compliance history with law enforcement while on previous grants of parole and even while incarcerated. During the sentencing hearing, Borden placed blame on the victim for the crimes and refused to take responsibility for the killing. He also became belligerent towards the judge, requiring the bailiffs to physically restrain him."