Murder trial starts for 2014 stabbing death
The murder trial of convicted rapist Jaime Tinoco — accused of stabbing Nicole Laube to death in 2014 — will begin Tuesday with opening statements.
Tinoco, of the Beaverton area, is charged with aggravated murder and unlawful use of a weapon for the Aug. 19, 2014, death of Laube. She was stabbed in the heart as she was hanging lease renewal fliers at the apartment complex where she worked as a leasing agent along Southwest Barnes Road.
Because he was a juvenile at the time of the alleged crime, Tinoco is ineligible for the death penalty. His criminal defense attorneys filed a motion to have a "true life" sentence — that is, life without the possibility of parole — ruled unconstitutional. If he's convicted, his attorneys want the court to sentence Tinoco to life with the possibility of parole after 30 years.
The trial is expected to last several weeks.
Tinoco was 17 when prosecutors allege he "intentionally" killed Laube. Prosecutors said Laube, 29, was stabbed in the heart and they allege Tinoco intended on raping her. Before Laube died, she told a neighbor the man who attacked her was wearing a dark hoodie and camouflage pants.
The killing happened during the middle of the afternoon. There were no witnesses to the killing itself, according to court documents, but several people reported seeing a person matching Tinoco's description near the scene around the time of the murder.
He was indicted April 1, 2015.
The rape at Ducks football game
In June 2014, Tinoco was placed on probation with the Washington County Juvenile Department after being convicted in juvenile court for first-degree burglary.
According to court records, the juvenile department took a group of "delinquent youths," including Tinoco to Eugene on Sept. 13, 2014, to watch a University of Oregon football game.
"After the game, (Tinoco) absconded from the group," according to court documents. Later that evening he abducted, assaulted and forcibly raped a woman outside the university's football stadium. Tinoco was arrested and confessed.
A detective out of Lane County saw a sketch released in the Laube murder investigation and "noticed a similarity" to Tinoco. According to detectives with the Washington County Sheriff's Office, when Laube was killed, Tinoco was living across the street from the apartment complex.
Shortly after the discovery, detectives searched Tinoco's bedroom after getting consent from his father, according to court documents. Inside Tinoco's bedroom, which he shared with his younger brother, detectives found camouflage cargo shorts that matched the description given by witnesses after Laube's death. A knife also was recovered. Detectives have not commented on whether that was the murder weapon.
Detectives from Washington County drove to Eugene to question Tinoco as he was being held in Lane County for the rape case. At the time, Tinoco denied being Laube's killer.
Tinoco took a plea deal in the Lane County case and was sentenced on March 23, 2015. After the sentencing, while Tinoco was awaiting transport to prison, a detective — assigned to the Lane County case — and Tinoco had a conversation about the Laube murder investigation. During the conversation, Tinoco reportedly confessed to the murder, according to court documents.
Detectives believe that Tinoco stalked Laube before killing her. The woman whom he attacked in Eugene also was stalked, police said. Investigators believe the only reason he was unable to rape Laube was because she fought back and screamed loudly after being stabbed, according to court documents.