Las Vegas woman pushes to keep death penalty in place 10 years after daughter’s brutal murder

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As a bill that could abolish the death penalty moves through the Nevada Legislature, a Las Vegas woman, whose daughter was brutally murdered, is pushing back.

“Grief is kind of like chronic pain,” Jennifer Otremba said, “and it’s always there.”

Nearly 10 years after her daughter’s death, Otremba describes how her entire world has changed. 

“You never expect to leave your house with your child laying on the floor doing homework, to what they found” Otremba said.

Alyssa Otremba, 15, was walking home in 2011 when she was abducted, sexually assaulted and stabbed more than 80 times. Her body was then burned and left just a few hundred feet from her northwest valley home. 

Javier Righetti was found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to death in 2017. 

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“At some point, there has to be punishment,” Otremba told 8 News Now, referencing Righetti’s actions. “There are consequences for your actions.”

Now, Jennifer is fighting to keep that option on the table, after the Nevada Assembly voted to abolish the death penalty during the 2021 Legislative Session. 

AB 395 would abolish the death penalty and reduce all current death sentences to life without the possibility of parole. 

It was introduced by Democratic Assemblyman Steve Yeager, who has called the death penalty “broken.”

Similar bills were introduced in 2017 and 2019, but none have gotten this far. 

“I was just a normal mom raising my children,” Otremba said of her situation. “And someone that I don’t know came in and took one in the most horrific way.”

Jennifer hopes her story encourages lawmakers to reconsider and understand what she calls the importance of this kind of closure. 

“He didn’t consider Alyssa’s life that day,” she lamented. “So, why would we consider his?”

To become law, AB 395 would have to pass through the Nevada Senate, and Gov. Steve Sisolak would have to sign it. 

Sisolak has said he’s mostly opposed to capital punishment but added that he has a hard time with the idea of a complete abolishment of the death penalty.

For more information on AB 395, click here.

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