LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The family of a woman killed in 1997 point to what they believe are flaws in the case. Nadia Iverson, 20, was found shot dead in a downtown Las Vegas home that was under construction. Her family is calling for more urgency in the testing of sexual assault kits and for more police accountability.
In 2018, former police officer Arthur Sewall was arrested in connection with Iverson’s death after a rape kit was tested and police said Sewall’s DNA was a match. Investigators said that there was evidence that Iverson may have been sexually assaulted. Iverson’s sister, Marie Coker said that the family was told that the rape kit was not tested for more than two decades because of a lack of funding.
“We’re in Nevada. It doesn’t add up. How can you not have the money for these families?” Coker told the 8 News Now Investigators. She also said that the family would have paid for the rape kit to be tested.
Sewall confessed to killing Iverson in 2018. A Clark County District Court judge later tossed out the confession because she said that the detectives who questioned Sewall violated his Miranda Rights. “…he still has to have his rights read and because that wasn’t done, they failed our family,” Coker said.
In November of 2022, Sewall pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter with a deadly weapon.
On Tuesday, Sewall was sentenced to six to 15 years and will receive credit for the 1,811 days that he already served in jail. Iverson’s family said that they are pleased with the work of the Clark County District Attorney’s office and they believe that prosecutors’ hands were tied due to the confession being tossed out. They also told the 8 News Now Investigators that they plan on attending Sewall’s parole hearings to make sure that he serves the full 15 years.
Months before Iverson’s killing, Sewall resigned from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department after he was caught forcing women to perform sexual acts and convicted of abusing his power as a member of law enforcement.
“He had 20 years to live a secret life of who he really wasn’t,” Coker said.
The 8 News Now Investigators reached out to LVMPD about the case, as well as the Nevada Attorney General’s office to find out whether there is currently any backlog in sexual assault kits. The information has not yet been provided.