Trial date set for physician charged in kidnapping

A trial date has been set for a Carson City doctor accused of kidnapping his former wife from Utah.

Dr. Richard Conte, 54, is scheduled to go on trial Oct. 15.

Conte stands accused of ambushing his ex-wife, Lark Gathright-Elliott, at her Salt Lake City home.

According to court documents, he admitted drugging her with a sedative, handcuffing and chaining her in the back of his pickup truck and driving her to his Clear Creek Road home. He was arrested June 22 at his home near the Douglas County-Carson City line after Gathright-Elliott's family called authorities from Utah.

At the time of his arrest, Conte had been a contracted emergency room physician at Carson-Tahoe Hospital for 10 years.

Conte is also a witness in a Carson City murder trial set to begin next week.

Sammy Resendiz, 25, was brutally beaten in a motel room Aug. 23, 1998.

Conte was the first physician to see Resendiz before he was taken by Care Flight helicopter to Washoe Medical Center where he subsequently died from his injuries.

Ten men and women are accused in Resendiz's murder.

Jury selection in the trial against defendant Rocky Boice Jr. begins Monday.

A Carson City judge on Monday denied a defense motion on behalf of Boice for release of Conte's criminal records.

"On reviewing Richard Conte's police file from Douglas County, there is nothing related or arguably related between Dr. Conte's providing care to Samuel Resendiz in 1998, to anything that occurred with Dr. Conte's 2002 case involving the alleged abduction of his ex-wife," said District Judge Michael Griffin in an order denying the motion.

Authorities in Arkansas are also looking at Conte in the investigation of a double-murder there of Gathright-Elliott's first ex-husband and a friend, who were found murdered May 19.


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