Originally set for Aug. 24, Pioche district court sentencing in the first-degree murder conviction of Jerry Elbert Hudson has been delayed until Oct. 12.
Newly elected county District Attorney Dylan Frehner has had to recuse himself from the case because he was Hudson’s defense attorney. Frehner has now moved over to the prosecution, an obvious case conflict.
Frehner said a new public defender has been appointed for Hudson and the court will appoint a special prosecutor to handle the sentencing phase, which may be former district attorney Daniel Hooge.
Hooge, who has taken a position as chief bar counsel for the state in Las Vegas, represented the state at the Hudson trial and has indicated he still is interesting in being a part of the sentencing proceedings.
In May 2018, Hudson, 50, was found guilty on all counts of home invasion, attempted sexual assault, murder, and use of a deadly weapon, in the death of 64-year-old Carol Hullinger in her home on May 24, 2015.
Hullinger was found in her apartment in Caliente when a Lincoln County sheriff’s deputy was making a routine welfare check of the residence. A preliminary investigation ruled the case to be a homicide.
Following his arrest, Hudson was booked into the Lincoln County Detention Center where he has remained since.
His sentence could be up to 35 years in prison on the home invasion charge, and a possible life sentence on the murder and sexual assault charges.
Hooge had said earlier he was “not seeking the death penalty, just life in prison.”
In the meantime, county commissioners have approved a new one-year contract rate of $30,000 for Ely attorney Shane Manuele to serve as legal conflict counsel.