Visalia man accused of killing Fresno State student in 1996 makes first court appearance

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FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — A Visalia man accused of killing a Fresno State student in 1996 makes his first court appearance in Fresno on Wednesday.

52-year-old Nickey Duane Stane had his first court appearance at the Fresno County Superior Courthouse for 12 charges including murder and sexual assault.

The arraignment was continued until February 27, because the public defender for the case asked for an extension. Until then he will be held on no bail.

Legal Analyst David Mugridge said judges usually do this to make sure suspects don’t run away.

“So that is number one and number two, for the protection of the public,” said Mugridge.

Stane faces a dozen charges including the murder of Fresno State Student Debbie Dorian.

Back in 1996, Dorian, a 22-year-old Fresno State student was found dead in her apartment.

The case went cold, until just a couple of months ago when Stane was arrested for a misdemeanor charge of peeping.

Through DNA technology, investigators said they were able to connect Stane to several sexual assaults in Visalia and eventually Dorian’s murder.

Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward handed over the sexual assault charges to Fresno County to be prosecuted with Dorian’s murder in hopes of speeding up the legal process.

However, our legal analyst expects Stane’s attorney to fight against the joint charges with the argument that they are unrelated.

“Well he is obviously guilty here so he must be guilty there,” said Mugridge explaining the implications of a joint trial. “There is an impact on the jury.”

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