Elko County jury deliberating in home invasion murder trial

ELKO, Nev. (AP) — An Elko County jury has begun deliberations at a murder trial stemming from what prosecutors say was a home invasion that left one man dead and already has sent another to prison for life.

Nearly 40 witnesses testified during Alan Honeyestewa’s 11-day trial before the case went to the jury late Thursday, according to the Elko Daily Free Press.

Honeyestewa pleaded not guilty to the shooting death of Brad Smith, 33, during a gun battle at Smith’s home on July 7, 2018.

Tieres A. Lopez Sr. pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for the same killing last year and was sentenced to life in prison.

Honeyestewa suffered gunshot wounds and was taken to an Elko hospital before being transported to Salt Lake City for treatment. He was released 10 days later and booked into the Elko County Jail.

In addition to murder, he’s accused of attempted robbery with the use of a firearm, invasion of the home with possession of a firearm, burglary with a firearm, and conspiracy to commit burglary.

Several witnesses testified that Lopez and Honeyestewa went to Smith’s home with the intent to steal guns and tools belonging to Smith.

“In his mind, he was going in there to steal something. He was going in there to steal those guns,” Elko County prosecutor Tyler Ingram said.

Defense counsel Gary Woodbury, the former district attorney, said Honeyestewa didn’t know about Lopez’s plan to rob Smith. He argued that Lopez had told the defendant that Smith was not at home and suggested the two go there to drink and smoke marijuana with Smith’s girlfriend, Jennifer Stanger.

“Alan Honeyestewa did not have the intent to burglarize anything in the house,” Woodbury said, adding that he didn’t enter the house without permission. “He thought he had permission from Mr. Lopez from Ms. Stanger through Mr. Lopez — and did not intend to commit robbery. He didn’t have intent to kill Mr. Smith, ever.”