Last week a thirty-five year old Pahrump woman was arrested for allegedly helping a man dump his murder victim's remains in a secluded area near Wheeler Canyon. The man was arrested for murder, and the woman faces charges for the Nevada crime of being an accessory after the fact. She was also charged with destroying evidence and was booked at the Nye County Detention Center.
The Nevada crime of being an accessory after the fact is when a person (the accessory) helps a person who committed a felony or gross misdemeanor (the principal) to avoid being brought to justice. Typical examples of what an accessory does is hiding a principal from the police, concealing evidence to the crime, or lying to the police about the crime. People can't be convicted of being an accessory if he/she is related to the principal as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, spouse or sibling.
Common defenses to charges of the Nevada crime of being an accessory after the fact are that the defendant acted under duress, that the defendant was just a bystander, or that the defendant had no knowledge of the crime. Being an accessory to a felony is a category C felony, carrying up to five years in prison and maybe up to $10,000 in fines. Being an accessory to a gross misdemeanor is a misdemeanor in Nevada, carrying a sentence of up to six months in prison and/or up to $500 in fines.
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