Former police officer sentenced for 1997 Las Vegas murder

Former police officer sentenced for 1997 Las Vegas murder

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Sewall pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in November

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A judge sentenced a former police officer Tuesday to six-to-15 years in prison for a murder in 1997. Arthur Sewall, 56, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter with the use of a deadly weapon last November.

Nadia Iverson, 20, died of a gunshot wound in May 1997. Her body was found inside a home under construction in downtown Las Vegas. An investigation revealed that Iverson may have been sexually assaulted.

“I don’t think there’s enough justice,” Marie Coker, Iverson’s sister told the 8 News Now Investigators after the sentencing. “There won’t be enough time served that would take and bring her back to us.”

While police said Iverson was a sex worker who struggled with a drug problem, Iverson’s loved ones told the 8 News Now Investigators that she was not a sex worker. Coker said that she had only been in Las Vegas for a short period of time and had been going through a tough time after a failed relationship and her mother was in a serious car accident.

Months before Iverson was killed, Sewall resigned from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. He was convicted of abusing his power as a law enforcement officer after he was caught on video exchanging favors for sexual acts.

In 2018, the state of Nevada tested decades-old rape kits where Sewall’s DNA was found to be a match in Iverson’s killing, police said. In a video obtained by the 8 News Now Investigators, two cold case detectives interviewed Sewall and told him that a gun that he owned was connected to the crime scene. For more than an hour, Sewall denied involvement before admitting to killing Iverson.

“I went out with the intention of sexual gratification and when my .357 went off, it freaked me out and I bolted and panicked,” Sewall told the detectives.

A Clark County District Court judge later determined that Sewall’s confession could not be used in the murder case because detectives kept questioning Sewall without an attorney. The judge also determined his Miranda rights were violated.

Judy Buchanan, Iverson’s mother told the 8 News Now Investigators that she had hoped and prayed for a confession from her daughter’s killer. “Every day I prayed to God,” she said.

Sewall also argued for release on a reasonable bail amount. The Nevada Supreme Court issued a decision in Sewall’s favor.

“We conclude that the evidence the State presented, which was essentially limited to Sewall’s semen being found on the victim and his previous ownership of a firearm that could have fired the round detectives found at the crime scene, is insufficient to defeat Sewall’s right to reasonable bail,” the order stated.

Sewall’s bail amount was reduced but he remained in custody since his arrest in January 2018. He agreed to the plea deal in November and will receive credit for 1,811 days served in jail. The Clark County District Attorney’s office and Sewall agreed to the prison term as part of the plea deal.

Iverson’s loved ones said they plan on attending Sewall’s parole hearings to prevent him from being released before serving the full 15-year term. “15 years is not enough for anybody’s life and  I wish he would have gotten more, but I’m going to make sure that he is staying in prison,” Buchanan said.

The 8 News Now Investigators reached out to Sewall for an on-camera interview from jail after the sentencing and before his transfer to the Nevada Department of Corrections. An LVMPD spokesperson said that he declined all media requests.

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