WCDA Murder Case Sentencing
Prosecution Involving October 2019 Beating Death of Reno Man Results in Life Sentence

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4304 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)

Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks has announced that Zafferine Amit McGilbra, age 45, from Sacramento has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 10 years has been served.  In addition, McGilbra must also serve a consecutive term of 8 to 20 years in prison for a deadly weapon enhancement, which will result in an extension to serving a minimum of 18 years before parole eligibility begins.  McGilbra was convicted of Second-Degree Murder in the beating death of 42-year-old Clancy Christopher after a weeklong jury trial in March.  He was sentenced yesterday in Washoe County District Court by judge Kathleen Drakulich.


On October 24, 2019, the Reno Police Department (RPD) responded to a battery with a deadly weapon call in the area of 330 Evans Avenue.  Witnesses reported that the victim (Christopher) had been struck in the face with a large rock and was unresponsive.  Christopher was transported to Renown Hospital where it was determined that he had multiple rib fractures, facial fractures and a frontal skull fracture.  These injuries were consistent with being severely beaten with a blunt object and Christopher ultimately died.  RPD Robbery Homicide Detectives began an investigation and McGilbra was identified as the suspect.  He was located the same day of the beating death and was detained after a several hour standoff on an unrelated warrant.  McGilbra was subsequently arrested by the Reno Police Department and this office filed murder charges against him and the case proceeded to trial.  


At sentencing Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Bolenbaker argued that McGilbra’s barbaric actions resulted in Christopher’s skull being caved in by the rock.  McGilbra’s significant criminal history as well as his rigid belief that the altercation was just a normal fistfight were deserving of the maximum prison sentence he received.


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