Summary of Offense:
A jury has picked the death penalty for James Biela, who was convicted of raping and killing Brianna Dennison, a college coed after sexually assaulting two others in Reno. The same Washoe County District Court jury that convicted James Biela deliberated about nine hours before reaching a unanimous verdict.
Biela's public defenders asked the jury to spare Biela's life because he had no previous criminal record and had been abused growing up in poverty in the Chicago area. Washoe County prosecutors sought death for Denison's rape and strangulation during a string of attacks that shook the Reno community in early 2008.
Biela was sentenced to death on June 2, 2010.