- Associated Press - Friday, December 16, 2016

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A jury in Las Vegas decided that a 41-year-old ex-convict should be put to death for killing the 15-year-old daughter of an associate in what prosecutors say was a dispute over $450 and forged drug prescriptions.

Norman Belcher refused to be brought to court Thursday to hear the verdict in the punishment phase of his trial.

The same jury on Wednesday found him guilty of multiple felony charges including murder in the December 2010 slaying of Alexus Postorino.

Clark County District Court Judge Elissa Cadish set sentencing Feb. 6 on the other charges, including burglary, robbery and attempted murder with a weapon, battery causing substantial bodily harm and arson for torching his getaway car.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported (https://bit.ly/2hsqFG5 ) that Belcher told the judge that a death sentence would be fine with him, because a solitary life on death row was preferable to being housed with other Nevada prison inmates.

He’ll become the 82nd person on death row at Ely State Prison. The last execution in the state was in 2006, after Daryl Mack asked to be put to death for a 1988 rape and murder in Reno.

Belcher was released from prison a few months before the slaying after serving a sentence on a voluntary manslaughter conviction in a 2003 case.

Jurors were told that Belcher sent threatening text messages to Alexus Posterino’s father, William Postorino, in the days before the slaying, and that William Posterino was at a casino when Belcher broke into the home and shot Alexus Posterino four times at close range.

Another man who in the home, Nicholas Brabham, identified Belcher as the man who burst into the house.

Belcher’s lawyers suggested that William Postorino’s involvement in illicit drugs meant that anyone could have been out to rob him.

Postorino admitted during trial that he was arrested in February 2010 with his then-14-year-old daughter in his car, along with marijuana, methamphetamines and a gun.

Defense attorney Robert Draskovich said outside court that Belcher knew that a death sentence guarantees years of appeals and strict scrutiny of the trial and verdict.

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Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, https://www.lvrj.com


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