The Nevada Supreme Court on Friday upheld the death sentence of a Las Vegas man for killing his ex-wife in the presence of their 3-year-old daughter.
Fernando Hernandez was convicted of murder, of kidnapping the young girl afterward and of "unlawful sexual penetration of a dead human body" in the death of Donna Hernandez in October 1999.
He was arrested after a police officer spotted his car heading south on Highway 95 toward Laughlin. The officer said he became suspicious because Hernandez was hysterical and the little girl crying. He said the girl told him "Daddy hurt Mommy real bad" and that Hernandez admitted killing her.
The victim was found lying on the stairs and crime scene analysts said there was blood throughout the house. She had been stabbed repeatedly.
There was evidence during the trial that Hernandez was under a court order to stay away from the victim and had threatened on numerous occasions to kill her.
The court ruled unanimously that none of the technical errors claimed by lawyers for Hernandez is valid.
"We perceive no basis to set aside this decision," the 32-page opinion concludes. "Hernandez stalked his wife; murdered her without provocation in a horrific, savage manner; and did so in the presence of her, and his own, young daughter. We conclude that the death sentence is not excessive in this case."