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July 22, 2014

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Man accused in fatal lead pipe beating pleads not guilty

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Mark Hoffman

A man who allegedly beat to death another man with a lead pipe earlier this year pleaded not guilty Monday to a charge of murder with a deadly weapon in district court.

Mark Hoffman, 47, is accused in the Jan. 14 killing of 35-year-old Steven Kelly, of Las Vegas, who was found dead by police in an apartment at 150 E. Hoover Ave. That address is northeast of the intersection of Main Street and Charleston Boulevard.

The Clark County Coroner’s Office said Kelly died from blunt force trauma to the head and ruled his death a homicide.

Hoffman was arrested in a portable toilet near the crime scene not long after police responded to a report of a man hitting another man with a pipe, authorities said.

Special public defender David Schieck, who represents Hoffman, told the judge the case was being presented to the death penalty review committee in the District Attorney’s office. A trial date will be set after prosecutors determine whether they will pursue the death penalty, he said.

A status check on trial-setting was scheduled for April 13 in front of District Court Judge Valorie Vega.

According to a Metro Police report released at the time of Hoffman’s arrest, when officers approached Hoffman in the toilet he was found with blood on him. Police said he was suffering from a stab wound that was self-inflicted.

Hoffman reportedly told police he had gotten into a fight with another man because he believed the person had sexually assaulted his wife while he was in jail. Hoffman said he hit the man with a blunt object in retaliation for being stabbed, the report said.

Police recovered a lead pipe at the apartment on Hoover Avenue, the report said.

Hoffman is being held in the Clark County Detention Center without bail. He is separately serving a 12-month jail sentence after having his probation revoked in February in connection with a 2009 attempted possession of stolen property case, court records show.

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