For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office has announced a guilty verdict in a recent murder trial that concluded last Thursday afternoon. The case stemmed from an incident that took place on September 30, 2016 when the Reno Police Department (RPD) responded to a report of a battery at the Eldorado casino. When officers arrived they determined that Frederick Douglas Borden, 65, had been playing blackjack that evening when he lost a bet and abruptly got up from the gaming table, grabbed the gaming chips he had lost, and began walking away. James Bryant, a 52-year old Eldorado Assistant Casino Shift Manager, approached Borden to discuss his taking of the gaming chips, when Borden unexpectedly punched Mr. Bryant in the face. Mr. Bryant collapsed to the floor and Borden fled. Bryant was taken to Renown Regional Medical Center where he died the next day, having suffered a torn right vertebral artery as a result of the punch. RPD Robbery Homicide Unit detectives were called to investigate and arrested Borden for Robbery. Following Mr. Bryant’s death and the findings by the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office, this office filed Open Murder, Robbery, and Fraudulent Acts Concerning Gaming charges against Borden, and the case proceeded to trial. Borden was subsequently convicted of all three charges. Additionally, Borden pled guilty this morning to one count of Grand Larceny for having committed an unrelated theft from a casino valued at over $2,000.
During trial, Chief Deputy District Attorney Zach Young argued that Borden was guilty of Murder of the First Degree based on a felony-murder theory, since he had stolen gaming chips and used force against Mr. Bryant to escape with one of the chips valued at $100.00. Borden was ultimately found guilty by the jury of Murder of the First Degree, Robbery, and Fraudulent Act Concerning Gaming. Sentencing is scheduled for November 21, 2018 in front of District Court Judge Scott Freeman, who presided over the trial. Borden has a lengthy criminal record, consisting of seven prior felony convictions dating back to 1995 and faces a possible sentence of up to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder charge.