Reduced Sentence

May 2022, the defendant was charged with first degree murder with use of a deadly weapon and other charges. He was facing a potential sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Karen A Connolly was the defense attorney. She negotiated a guilty plea to one count of voluntary manslaughter with use of a deadly weapon with a stipulated sentence of 5- 12 years, to run concurrent with a 6 year federal sentence.

Reduced Sentence

April 2022, the defendant was charged with 3 counts of first degree murder with use of a deadly weapon as well as other charges. He was facing the death penalty. Ms. Connolly and her co-counsel represented the defendant. He was convicted by a jury of 3 counts of first degree murder. Prior to his penalty hearing where the prosecution would argue for a death sentence, the case was negotiated. It was agreed that the defendant would accept a sentence of life with the possibility of parole on each count. The defendant thereby avoided a potential death sentence.

Reduced Sentence

August 2020, the defendant pled guilty to a serious federal drug offense. The government requested that the judge impose a sentence of 108 months in prison as did the United States Department of Parole and Probation. As a result of Ms. Connolly’s advocacy, the judge imposed a sentence of 36 months.


When the defendant was charged with Sexual Assault of a Minor and First Degree Kidnapping, Karen A. Connolly was his lawyer. The defendant was not convicted.

Reduced Murder Sentence

The defendant was charged with having committed two separate murders.

In the first case, Karen A. Connolly secured a complete dismissal of all charges.

In the second murder case, the State was seeking the death penalty.

Ms. Connolly and her co-counsel secured a plea deal for the defendant to the significantly reduced charge of second-degree murder. The defendant who was facing the death penalty may now reclaim his freedom after serving only 10 years in prison.

Death Sentence Avoided

The defendant was convicted of First Degree Murder.

The prosecution tried to convince the jury that he should be sentenced to death and executed.

Karen A. Connolly was one of the lawyers who convinced the jury that death was not the appropriate punishment for the defendant and thereby saved his life.


The defendant went to trial for First Degree Murder.

Karen A. Connolly was one of his lawyers. The verdict was NOT GUILTY.

Murder Confession Thrown Out

The defendant was charged with First Degree Murder.

He gave a video taped confession to the police.

Karen A. Connolly successfully argued that his constitutional rights had been violated and the confession was thrown out.

Life Sentence Reduced to 8 Years

The defendant was charged with a slew of crimes including: First Degree Premeditated, Deliberate, and Murder.

He was facing life in prison without the possibility of parole. Ms. Connolly negotiated a deal for him which could result in his release after serving only eight years in prison.

NOT GUILTY: Drug Trafficking

The defendant went to trial in Federal Court on charges of Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering.

Karen A. Connolly was her lawyer, the verdict was NOT GUILTY.

Dismissal of Charges: Drug Possession

Ms. Connolly’s client was arrested and charged with drug possession.

She not only obtained a complete dismissal of all charges, she also secured the return of the seized marijuana.

Plea Deal Reached in Double Murder

The defendant was charged with 2 counts of first degree murder with use of a deadly weapon. He was facing the rest of his life in prison on both counts with no chance of parole, if convicted.

Karen Connolly was one of his attorneys. On the eve of trial, a plea deal to the significantly reduced ONE COUNT of second degree murder with use of a deadly weapon was secured for Mr. Acosta.

Ex-Las Vegas illusionist wants to drop child-porn plea!

Former Strip illusionist Jan Rouven wants to back out of his plea to federal child pornography charges, but a judge said Friday that she first needs to analyze evidence to determine whether he understood the possible prison sentence he could face.

Rouven, whose show at the Tropicana was canceled after his March 2016 arrest, pleaded guilty last year after more than two days of testimony during a bench trial before U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro. Under the deal he struck with prosecutors, Rouven admitted to possessing, receiving and distributing thousands of videos and images of child pornography. He could be ordered to serve a little more than 30 years behind bars.

But his new attorney, Karen Connolly, told the judge on Friday that Rouven’s previous lawyers did not fully explain the possible length of the sentence. Rouven thought he would receive five years behind bars, Connolly said.

“It was ineffective not to take the time and discuss it with him,” she told the judge. “What they told him was unrealistic. It’s fair and it’s just to let him withdraw his plea.”

Connolly called the previous lawyers’ actions “incomprehensible” and said Rouven only fully understood that his prison term could be longer after he talked about federal sentencing guidelines with a fellow inmate at the Nevada Southern Detention Center.

The judge ordered testimony from Rouven’s trial lawyers, including Jess Marchese, Ben Durham and Michael Sanft, at a hearing on March 9.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elham Roohani told the judge that she believed Marchese and Sanft had properly communicated the possible prison term to Rouven.

“Everybody knew what the numbers would be,” Roohani said.

Indicted under his full name, Jan Rouven Fuechtener, the former magician also faces a fine of $5,000 for each victim authorities identify. At the time of Rouven’s plea, Marchese said there could be as many as 85 identifiable victims, which would amount to a total fine of $425,000.

According to a criminal complaint, the investigation of Rouven began in August 2015 when an undercover FBI agent from Buffalo, New York, infiltrated a computer file-sharing network dealing in child pornography.

Investigators later found images and videos, which ranged from five minutes to more than an hour and featured juveniles, adults and animals, on devices in Rouven’s backyard casita, on his pool deck, in his kitchen and in his bedrooms.

Article by: David Ferrara

Ex-Las Vegas illusionist Jan Rouven wants to drop child-porn plea

Career ending felonies reduced to Misdemeanors

In October, 2017, Karen Connolly’s client, was charged with 4 felony counts of Child Abuse and Neglect; and 2 felony/gross misdemeanor counts of Attempting, Preventing of Dissuading a Witness or Victim from Reporting a Crime or Commencing Prosecution.

Ms. Connolly successfully negotiated a reduction of all 6 charges, which would otherwise have been career ending for her client, down to 2 misdemeanors.

Guilty Plea Reversed

Karen A. Connolly represented the defendant on post-conviction relief after he unsuccessfully tried to withdraw his guilty plea to two counts of first degree murder and waived his appeal in another case.

Ms. Connolly was his third lawyer and was able to accomplish what his prior counsel were unable to do – convince the court that he should be able to withdraw his plea. The defendant’s plea was set aside and he will now proceed to Trial.

View the Order

Las Vegas illusionist arrested for child porn may ask to take back guilty plea

LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) — Las Vegas illusionist Jan Rouven may ask a federal judge to take back his guilty plea on child pornography charges.

Rouven, who has a new attorney, was set to be sentenced in federal court on Friday. Attorney Karen Connolly filed paperwork to have the sentencing continued to June 30.

The FBI arrested Rouven last March on suspicion of felony child pornography crimes. Prosecutors alleged Rouven, using the online name “Lars45,” shared thousands of pornographic images on a peer-to-peer file sharing program.

Two days after the start of his trial in federal court, Rouven accepted a plea agreement and admitted to possessing, receiving, and distributing child pornography.

Attorney Karen Connolly confirmed that she may ask the court to vacate Rouven’s guilty plea, during a phone call with News 3.

Rouven faces up to 30 years in prison.

The performer has been in federal custody since his arrest.

He was the star of “The New Illusions,” a live stage show at the Tropicana.

Article by: Craig Fiegener

Murder Conviction Reversed

The defendant was convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting death of his wife. He received a sentence of 40 years to life in prison. He appealed his conviction to the Nevada Supreme Court, it was denied.

Ms. Connolly represented him on post-conviction relief.

She successfully proved that her client’s constitutional rights had been violated; that he had received ineffective assistance of counsel at trial. As a result, the conviction was reversed.

View the Court Order

View the LVRJ Article

Convictions Reversed: Felony Case

A jury convicted the defendant of 25 felonies including multiple robberies and burglaries with use of a deadly weapon.

Karen A. Connolly was his appellate lawyer. She argued to the Nevada Supreme Court that the defendant’s Miranda rights had been violated and that his multiple convictions should be thrown out.

The Nevada Supreme Court agreed, the convictions were reversed and the sentence was vacated.

View LVRJ Article

View Court Opinion

Murder Conviction Overturned

After the defendant was convicted of first degree murder and sent to prison for life, Karen A. Connolly took over his case. Ms. Connolly not only got the conviction overturned, she secured for the defendant his release and freedom.

To follow the case as documented by the Las Vegas Review Journal, click the links below:

Click here to view the LVRJ Article from June 4, 2008

Click here to view the LVRJ Article from Sept. 1, 2008

Click here to view the LVRJ Article from Oct. 1, 2008

Click here to view the LVRJ Article from Oct. 2, 2008

Click here to view the LVRJ Article from March 7, 2009