Deal vacates month-long trial in 2017 beating death


A month-long murder trial has been vacated after negotiations between prosecutors and defense attorneys resulted in a settlement.

Adam A. Bernard, 43, will plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter in connection with the July 8, 2017, beating of Gardnerville Ranchos resident Brian Cook.

Prosecutors assert Cook died three weeks later as a result of his injuries.

Under the agreement, Bernard could face up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He would be eligible for probation.

Bernard’s plea is not an admission, but acknowledgement that there is sufficient evidence to convict of him of a more serious crime.

Part of that evidence is a video of the beating that occurred on Manhattan in the Ranchos that the state says was responsible for Cook’s death.

Cook died July 30 after being in a coma for three weeks. The video showed Cook going down in the street and Bernard punching him in the head and then kicking him. Deputies responded to a report Bernard and another man were carrying Cook out of the street.

The Nevada Supreme Court opened the door for settlements in criminal cases.

Upon learning of the settlement, District Judge Tom Gregory offered four different defendants and their attorneys an opportunity to move their cases forward into the space vacated by the Bernard trial.

There weren’t any takers, since the trial date would have been less than four weeks away.

One defendant, Robert Vieth Wilson, has been in custody since Oct. 16, 2019, on multiple felony drug charges and a battery by a prisoner that occurred last year. He’s scheduled for separate trials in September and October.

None of the other defendants are in custody.


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