Original article no longer available
Las Vegas Sun
February 8, 2007
LAS VEGAS (AP) – A Las Vegas mother of three accused of killing her 7-year-old daughter and stabbing her 8-year-old son remained unconscious at a hospital after a drug overdose, police and family members said.
Sherri Lynne Love’s mother, Marjorie Bull, said Wednesday she was not sure her 46-year-old daughter will regain consciousness, and family members were considering whether Love should remain on life support.
“I don’t think she (Love) would be able to live knowing what she did,” Bull told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Love’s daughter, Arabella Rose Moreno, was buried Wednesday. Love’s son, Brian Moreno, recovered from stab wounds to attend the service with his 14-year-old half brother, Michael Corbo.
Love “totally loved them,” Bull said of the children. “And nobody understands this.”
Bull said Love had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder three years ago, but that medication had seemed to help.
Neighbors said Love became depressed and frequently drank alcohol after separating recently from Richard Moreno, the biological father of Brian and Arabella. But neighbors said they had never seen Love as much as spank her children.
Police reported finding Love unconscious in the house after an apparent overdose of prescription medication following the attack. Investigators said it also appeared she had been drinking alcohol. She remained unconscious Wednesday at University Medical Center in Las Vegas.
If she recovers, she faces charges of murder and attempted murder.
A judge has given Bull temporary custody of the boys, and a family lawyer, Steve Caruso, said Bull was seeking guardianship.
Caruso continued Wednesday to question whether Las Vegas police properly handled an earlier call to the home on Saturday.
Police were first called about 3 p.m. to a complaint that Love and her teenage son were arguing. The teen left the house with Richard Moreno, according to a police report.
Police have said they did not call county child welfare authorities because Love and Richard Moreno were not married and Love had a legal custody of Brian and Arabella.
After officers left, Love argued with her 8-year-old son, who also wanted to leave with his father, according to the police report. The boy went to his room and fell asleep – waking to find Love stabbing Arabella.
The boy, wounded, ran to a neighbor’s home and police were summoned again about 6:20 p.m.
Bull said a tree will be planted in Arabella’s memory at Steele Elementary School, where she attended second grade.
Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com
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Mom weeps at murder trial — (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Posted June 25, 2008 – 10:00pm
David Kihara at firstname.lastname@example.org
As Sherri Love sat through the second day of her murder trial Tuesday, her 69-year-old mother, Marjorie Bull, waited in the hall with a photo album in her lap.
The pictures showed the family in happier times. In one photo, Bull’s granddaughter, Arabella Moreno, killed at the age of 7, is caught grinning widely in a close-up.
“Arabella was our little princess,” Bull said. “Everyone loved her to pieces.”
Authorities accuse Love, 47, of cutting Arabella with a knife at least 20 times and fatally stabbing her on Feb. 3, 2007, at the family’s home near Jones Boulevard and Wigwam Avenue.
Authorities say Love also cut her son, Brian Moreno, who was 8 at the time, and tried to kill him before he ran from the house.
Love is on trial, charged with murder and attempted murder, before District Court Judge Stewart Bell.
The jury trial is expected to continue for several days.
Love’s public defenders said she is mentally ill.
Deputy Public Defender Edward Kane said Love is bipolar and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Days before the slaying, Kane said, Love checked herself into a local hospital for alcohol treatment. When she did, Kane said hospital staff provided Love with treatment that exacerbated her bipolar condition and contributed to the 2007 attacks. Seeking treatment turned out to be the worst decision she ever made, Kane said.
But prosecutors said when Las Vegas police officers went to Love’s house shortly before the 2007 attack for a domestic disturbance call, she was lucid enough that police didn’t take her into custody.
Bull said her daughter has a history of mental illness but was an attentive mother. She said Love, who formerly worked as a cocktail waitress at the Golden Nugget, wasn’t physically abusive to Arabella or Brian prior to the attack.
Bull, who now has custody of Love’s two minor sons, said she wants her daughter placed in a mental institution.
On Tuesday, Love wept as prosecutor Pam Weckerly described Love’s knife attack on the two children to the jury.
Love sought hospital treatment in late January 2007, after she confided to a friend that she was drinking too much and was having a hard time caring for her kids.
When she was released after a few days, family members said Love immediately went to a bar and drank.
She seemed sullen and different after she got out of the hospital, said Michael Corbo, Love’s 15-year-old son.
On Feb. 3, 2007, Corbo and Love got into a fight at the house. Las Vegas police responded to a call about 3 p.m. and found Corbo outside.
He told police Love threw a candlestick and hit his back, but officers couldn’t find any evidence of the attack.
Police left the house without arresting Love or removing the children.
Las Vegas police officer Jake Grunwald, who was at the house that day, testified Tuesday that police left because Love had legal custody of Brian and Arabella and didn’t appear to be a danger to herself or others.
Bull, who formerly worked for the Metropolitan Police Department as a civilian supervisor, believes officers should have intervened. Bull said she is planning to file a lawsuit against the police department.
Love’s son Brian testified that after police left, Love attacked him while he was on the top of a bunk bed. He said Love told him the knife wouldn’t hurt.
After the attack, Weckerly said, Brian fled to a neighbor’s house and told neighbors, “My mom just killed my sister.”
Love tried to kill herself immediately after the slaying but was taken to University Medical Center and recovered.
Love woke up shackled to a hospital bed several days after the killing but didn’t know she had killed Arabella, Kane said.
Kane said when Love learned about what happened after watching a news report, she said, “How and when can I die?”
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Supreme Court upholds convictions of 2 Las Vegas killers — (Las Vegas Sun)
By Cy Ryan
Thursday, June 3, 2010 | 1 p.m.
CARSON CITY – The Nevada Supreme Court has upheld the Las Vegas murder convictions of a woman who fatally stabbed her 7-year-old daughter and a man who killed a mentally impaired woman during a home burglary.
Sherri Love was found guilty in the stabbing of her daughter, Arabella Moreno. She also stabbed her 8-year-old son, Brian, who escaped with minor injuries in February 2007.
Love, now 49, maintained she wasn’t guilty by reason of insanity. She was sentenced to a life term with the possibility of parole. She had diagnoses of bipolar and post-traumatic stress disorders and a long history of alcohol abuse. Less than a week before the stabbings, she was an in-patient in a drug and alcohol detoxification program.
The Supreme Court upheld the decision of District Judge Stewart Bell, who refused to admit an out-of-court statement she made to a forensic psychologist that she had no recollection of stabbing her daughter. Bell ruled it was hearsay and the court backed his decision.
Love challenged the jury instructions on insanity, involuntary intoxication and voluntary intoxication, but the Supreme Court said she failed to object to the instructions at trial.
In the other case, Cornelius E. Rogers, now 44, was sentenced to two consecutive life terms without the possibly of parole in the death of 33-year-old Julie Holt during a home burglary on March 2001.
Holt’s hands and feet were tied and she had a sock stuffed into her mouth. She died of suffocation. She was discovered by her father when he returned home from work and the house had been burglarized.
The prosecution sought the death penalty but the jury came back with the consecutive life terms without parole. Rogers argued the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment. But the court said the question is moot since the jury did not impose the death penalty.
“This court has repeatedly refused to render opinions on moot questions,” said the court.
The court also upheld the ruling of District Judge Jennifer Togliatti when she denied a motion to suppress statements by Rogers to the police.
Togliatti said Rogers was repeatedly advised of his Miranda rights not to speak with police. He exercised his right once to stop police from questioning him so he could speak to his family members. He was interviewed over several days and “was not physically mistreated in any way,” the Supreme Court said.