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Jury chooses death for West Valley grad

A 1999 West Valley High graduate convicted of rape and murder in Reno, Nev., should die for his crimes, a jury ruled Wednesday.

James Michael Biela will be sentenced to death for the murder of 19-year-old Brianna Denison instead of life in prison under the jury’s recommendation.

The same jury convicted Biela, 28, last week of Denison’s death and of sexually assaulting two other young women in a string of attacks from October 2007 to January 2008.

One piece of evidence in the case was a Toyota truck seized from a Coeur d’Alene resident shortly after Biela’s arrest. Police believe Biela used the truck in the crimes, then sold it to a car dealership here while working in Moses Lake.