- Associated Press - Monday, March 14, 2016

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A former Las Vegas blackjack dealer got a new lawyer Monday for a bid to undo her guilty plea to kidnapping and killing her ex-boyfriend’s 10-year-old daughter in a jealous rage just before Christmas in 2012.

Brenda Stokes Wilson is arguing she got bad advice from her court-appointed public defenders before she pleaded guilty in January to abducting and killing Jade Morris and slashing co-worker Joyce Rhone with a straight razor at the Bellagio casino, attorneys said Monday.

“What she says is that she’s innocent,” prosecutor Robert Daskas said, summarizing written filings by Wilson.

Clark County District Court Judge Kathleen Delaney appointed attorney Christopher Oram to replace Wilson’s previous lawyers, and she scheduled an April 27 date for arguments on the plea-withdrawal question. The judge postponed sentencing indefinitely.

Oram declined to comment about the case outside court.



Wilson, 53, remained in custody. She’s facing life in prison without parole for her guilty pleas Jan. 14 to murder, kidnapping, attempted murder, burglary and mayhem charges - each with a deadly weapon enhancement.

She could face the death penalty if she’s allowed to withdraw her plea and go to trial.

Stokes Wilson was a trusted friend of the girl and dated the girl’s father, Philip Morris. Authorities think the attacks were motivated by a mistaken belief that he had begun dating Rhone.

Jade Morris’ body was found in an abandoned housing development about 10 miles from a downtown Las Vegas outlet mall where Stokes Wilson was to have taken the girl Christmas shopping.

Rhone was hospitalized with deep cuts on her face. She filed a civil negligence lawsuit in 2013 in Nevada state court seeking damages from the Bellagio for her injuries. The case is pending.

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