Clem v. State, 17799

Citation104 Nev. 351, 760 P.2d 103
Case DateAugust 25, 1988
CourtSupreme Court of Nevada

Page 103

760 P.2d 103
104 Nev. 351
Joseph CLEM aka Clem Joseph; Gerald Bridgewater; Kenneth
Bridgewater; James Player; and Charles Cook, Appellants,
The STATE of Nevada, Respondent.
No. 17799.
Supreme Court of Nevada.
Aug. 25, 1988.

Page 104

Morgan D. Harris, Public Defender, Victor John Austin, Deputy Public Defender, Clark County, Las Vegas, for appellant Joseph Clem.

Mark B. Bailus, Las Vegas, for appellant Gerald Bridgewater.

Lynn Shoen, Las Vegas, for appellant Kenneth Bridgewater.

Ward & Maglaras, Las Vegas, for appellant James Player.

Beury & Schubel, Las Vegas, for appellant Charles Cook.

Beckley, Singleton, DeLanoy, Jemison & List and Daniel F. Polsenberg, Las Vegas, for appellants.

Brian McKay, Atty. Gen., Carson City, Rex Bell, Dist. Atty., Clark County, Las Vegas, for respondent.

[104 Nev. 353] OPINION


Appellants Joseph Clem, Gerald Bridgewater, Kenneth Bridgewater, James Player and Charles Cook were convicted of first degree kidnapping, extortion and mayhem for burning Katherine Sexton with a red-hot table fork and heated electric iron. Appellants raise a number of challenges to their convictions. We conclude that the convictions were properly entered and therefore affirm.

Katherine Sexton lived in Las Vegas with her five-year-old daughter, Erica, and her cousin, appellant Joseph Clem. Clem's friends from Los Angeles, appellants Gerald and Kenneth Bridgewater, Player and Cook, had been staying at Sexton's apartment and using it to cook cocaine into rock form, or crack. Appellants had also been selling cocaine from the apartment.

Sexton did not like the influence of the drugs on Erica so she threw a baggie containing $1,500 of appellants' cocaine out the window. Two days later, at 4:00 a.m. on January 30, 1986, the Bridgewaters, Player and Cook entered Sexton's apartment and demanded to know what had happened to their cocaine. Clem joined the men, while Gerald Bridgewater closed the door to the bedroom where Erica slept. Appellants heated a table fork on the apartment's electric stove and placed it on Sexton's hand, arm, forehead and stomach. They held a shirt over Sexton's mouth to muffle her screams.

The men repeatedly demanded $1,500. They made Sexton call several people, including her friend, Sonja Smith, to obtain the money. Because Sexton was crying, Smith asked if she needed the police. When Sexton said yes, Smith called the police.

Thereafter, Clem heated an electric iron while the others held Sexton on the sofa. Clem pressed it against her thigh for three or four seconds, until Sexton could hear her skin sizzle. Clem then stated he would next burn her face.

The police arrived moments later. Three officers testified that they noticed a haze in the living room and smelled burnt flesh. The officers found a fork wedged into the electric coils on the stove and a hot iron. Sexton had second degree burns on her thighs, forehead and buttocks, some of which showed the shape of the fork's tines, and a four by twenty inch burn on her thigh from the iron.

At trial, appellants were found guilty of first degree kidnapping, extortion and mayhem, all with a deadly weapon. Each was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole for kidnapping, ten years for extortion, and five years for mayhem; and each

Page 105

was [104 Nev. 354] given additional identical consecutive sentences for committing each offense with a deadly weapon. Appellants appeal their convictions, raising a number of issues, all of which we have determined are without merit.

Appellants contend that because the kidnapping was incidental to the extortion and mayhem, the State must prove Sexton was moved to establish kidnapping as a separate offense. 1 Appellants insist that there was no evidence of asportation because Sexton was seated on her sofa while being threatened and burned. While the plain language of NRS 200.310(1) does not require asportation, the court has required it when the kidnapping is incidental to another offense, such as robbery, where restraint of the victim is inherent with the primary offense. See Wright v. State, 94 Nev. 415, 581 P.2d 442 (1978); Langford v. State, 95 Nev. 631, 600 P.2d 231 (1979). Here, however, appellants physically restrained Sexton. This, in itself, establishes kidnapping as an additional offense. Moreover, the kidnapping was not incidental to the extortion because the restraint increased the risk of harm. Finally, the restraint had an independent purpose and significance as it was essential to the accomplishment of mayhem.

Appellants also insist that the district court erred in instructing the jury on kidnapping. Their proffered instruction was not offered to the district court. The failure to offer the instruction waives the issue on appeal. See McShane v. State, 94 Nev. 669, 584 P.2d 707 (1978). In addition, our review of the instructions shows they included the statutory elements of kidnapping. There was no error.


Appellants contend that their Fourteenth Amendment equal protection rights were violated by the prosecutor's removal of all black veniremen from the jury. Appellants, citing Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79, 106 S.Ct. 1712, 90 L.Ed.2d 69 (1986), claim that the prosecutor improperly used his peremptory challenges to remove all three black veniremen, leaving an all-white jury to judge the five black defendants. Appellants argue that the facially neutral reasons [104 Nev. 355] supplied by the prosecutor as justification for his action were designed to hide racial bias and that the district court abused its discretion by not entering findings on the issue.

The State removed three prospective black jurors with peremptory challenges and used its other five challenges to remove whites. After appellants objected to the prosecutor's use of the challenges, the prosecutor stated he removed one black juror because he did not want young, single jurors and had done the same with a similar white juror. The prosecutor stated that he had challenged the other two blacks because each had a son or step-son convicted of crimes and felt, as a result, they might be prejudiced against the legal system. The district court held a recess, during which time the judge reviewed the Batson opinion. Thereafter, the court ruled that the prosecutor removed the black veniremen for facially neutral reasons, and denied appellants' motion for a mistrial.

We conclude that the prosecutor's reasons are facially neutral and do not evidence a racial bias. The prosecutor peremptorily challenged one black...

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28 cases
  • Doyle v. State, 27146
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Nevada
    • 22 Julio 1996
    ......Clem v. State, 104 Nev. 351, 355, 760 P.2d 103, 106 (1988), overruled on other grounds, Zgombic v. State, 106 Nev. 571, 798 P.2d 548 (1990). Accordingly, ......
  • Doyle v. Filson
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. District of Nevada
    • 22 Octubre 2020
    ...previously held that "[a]ssociation with the criminal justice system is a facially neutral reason to challenge veniremen." Clem v. State, 104 Nev. 351, 355, 760 P.2d 103, 106 (1988), overruled on other grounds, Zgombic v. State, 106 Nev. 571, 798 P.2d 548 (1990). Accordingly, we conclude th......
  • Kaczmarek v. State, 41556.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Nevada
    • 7 Junio 2004
    .......          57. See Riley v. Taylor, 277 F.3d 261, 286 (3rd Cir.2001) ; see also Clem" v. State, 104 Nev. 351, 356, 760 P.2d 103, 106 (1988), overruled on other grounds by Zgombic v. State, 106 Nev. 571, 798 P.2d 548 (1990) . .  \xC2"......
  • Bolden v. State, 42039.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Nevada
    • 15 Diciembre 2005
    ......1859, 114 L.Ed.2d 395 (1991) (plurality opinion). . 65. See Doyle, 112 Nev. at 889 n. 2, 921 P.2d at 908 n. 2. . 66. See Clem......
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