ELKO — Jury selection began Monday in Elko District Court for the murder trial of Bryce Dickey, accused of killing 16-year-old Gabrielle “Britney” Ujlaky more than two years ago.
Dickey, 20, has been charged with open murder with the use of a deadly weapon and another count of felony murder in the sexual assault or attempted sexual assault with the use of a lethal weapon.
District Judge Mason Simons will preside over the case. It should last two weeks.
Ujlaky was first reported missing by her father on March 8, 2020. Her father said he last saw her leaving band rehearsal with Dickey that afternoon. A friend testified at Dickey’s preliminary hearing that Ujlaky considered him a “big brother”.
His body was found at Burner Basin near Elko three days later. A report from the Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner’s Office said the cause of death was a stab wound to the neck and strangulation.
As the investigation began, Dickey told law enforcement that they drove that afternoon until he dropped her off at Spring Creek High School where she got into a green van driven by a tall man with a cowboy hat.
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Detectives from the Elko Police Department and the Elko County Sheriff’s Office interviewed Dickey, eventually arresting him and charging him with murder. A search warrant of his premises was issued and investigators found blood on boots and a sweatshirt.
Within months of his arrest, a writ of habeas corpus was filed in Elko District Court by Dickey’s defense attorney Gary Woodbury and public defender Matthew Pennell to quash the charge. of sexual assault, citing “insufficient evidence to support probable cause”. The motion was denied by District Judge Al Kacin.
Elko County District Attorney Tyler Ingram has reserved the option of seeking the death penalty if Dickey is found guilty.