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2 charged in shooting husband, wife linked to Hooters server’s death

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Photos from Metro Police

Gregory Hover and Richard Freeman

Updated Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010 | 12:53 p.m.

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Metro Police found 21-year-old Prisma Contreras' body in an abandoned vehicle near U.S. 95 and Nelson's Landing Road south of Boulder City Jan. 15.

Gregory Hover - arraignment (2-12-10)

Bandaged after a failed suicide attempt, Gregory Hover, center, waits to be called by Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Joseph Sciscento during an arraignment hearing Friday, Feb. 12, 2010, at the Regional Justice Center.   Hover is facing multiple felony counts including murder, kidnapping and robbery in connection with the Jan. 25 violent home invasion of Julio and Roberta Romero. Launch slideshow »

UPDATED STORY: New details emerge in slaying of Hooters casino waitress

Two men charged in connection with a violent home invasion that left a man dead and his wife seriously wounded have been linked to the death of a Hooters casino server.

Police also said the men are suspected in a series of other crimes.

Metro Police announced during a news conference this morning that 38-year-old Gregory Hover and Richard Freeman, 18, have been linked to the killing of 21-year-old Prisma Contreras of Las Vegas. Her body was found Jan. 15 in an abandoned vehicle near U.S. 95 and Nelson's Landing Road south of Boulder City.

In a separate pair of shootings, Hover was arrested Feb. 6 and charged in connection with an attack in the early morning hours of Jan. 25 that left Julio Romero, 64, dead and his wife, Roberta Romero, seriously wounded.

Metro Capt. Randy Montandon said police are seeking possible witnesses who could provide information about the two cases.

Specifically, police are looking for a white man wearing a yellow jacket with the word “security” on it who was riding a bicycle near the area of the Romeros’ home at the time of the shootings.

Montandon said police believe the witness had contact with the men and might be able to provide critical information.

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Police want to speak with the occupants of a red Isuzu Amigo, model years 1995 to 2000, seen in the parking lot of the Walmart at Lake Mead Drive and Boulder Highway in Henderson between 7:20 a.m. and 7:40 a.m. on Jan. 14. Police said Gregory Hover and Richard Freeman were in the area shortly after leaving Prisma Contreras' body in Boulder City. Anyone with information is asked to call 828-3521.

Police also are looking for the occupants of a red Isuzu Amigo, model years 1995 to 2000, who were in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart at Lake Mead Drive and Boulder Highway in Henderson between 7:20 a.m. and 7:40 a.m. on Jan. 14.

“We know these individuals were in very close proximity to our suspects after they had disposed of our victim in Boulder City,” Montandon said. “They may have critical information they can share with us in reference to what they saw and what they may have heard at that scene.”

Investigators believe the men committed a series of crimes across the valley and Montandon urged any victims to contact police. He said the crime spree dates back to at least late 2009.

Anyone with information is being asked to call police at 828-3521.

“We know that they were not selective in who they chose to victimize,” Montandon said. “We believe they victimized people who had broken down on the side of the road and were looking for assistance for rides, people that may have gone to ATM machines; we also know that there was a series of business robberies that they were involved in.”

He said additional armed robbery charges would be forthcoming in those cases.

Hover was a process server who worked for a legal firm serving civil papers.

He is accused of returning to the Romeros' home, near the intersection of Jones Boulevard and Russell Road, in the early morning hours of Jan. 25, a few hours after he had been there in an attempt to find another man who Hover said owed $10,000 in a civil matter.

Police say Hover shot Julio Romero dead, then robbed Roberta Romero at gunpoint before ushering her into a bedroom closet while he raided dresser drawers and took valuables.

While Roberta Romero was in the closet, Hover opened the door and shot her in the face, police have said. She called 911 after the intruder left her home.

Roberta Romero remains hospitalized but her condition is improving, attorneys said this week.

Montandon said an investigation was under way into whether Hover committed crimes against any other clients he came in contact with through the course of his job as a process server.

Montandon said the investigation into the armed robbery at the Romeros’ home provided information that pointed to Hover and Freeman as being involved in Contreras’ murder.

He said a vehicle suspected of being involved in the crimes was linked to Hover.

According to Hover’s arrest report, Roberta Romero described a small, white, four-door car being parked in front of her house when Hover first approached her and her husband. Police later learned a white 1996 Nissan Sentra was registered to Hover’s wife.

Police on Jan. 19 released video surveillance images showing a white Sentra and said video showed someone exit the Sentra and approach Contreras’ Jeep.

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Metro Police Capt. Randy Montandon speaks during a news conference Thursday regarding the death of 21-year-old Prisma Contreras, a Hooters server found murdered in Boulder City. Montandon said two men charged in a deadly home invasion are responsible for Contreras' death as well as other crimes.

Montandon said police are also looking into whether Hover might be tied to any unsolved cases and that it’s possible he could have committed other homicides.

“I’m pretty certain that he’s killed at least two people and there’s no telling how many more victims we may discover,” Montandon said.

The gun believed to have been used in shooting the Romeros has been recovered, Montandon said.

In the shooting of the Romeros, Hover and Freeman are charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, burglary with a deadly weapon, two counts of robbery with a deadly weapon, murder with a deadly weapon, two counts of first-degree kidnapping with a deadly weapon, attempted murder with a deadly weapon, battery with a deadly weapon resulting in substantial bodily harm and burglary.

The men are next scheduled to appear in court Friday morning for a bail hearing. Formal charges in connection with Contreras’ death are expected to be filed later today, Montandon said.

Both men are being held without bail in the Clark County Detention Center.

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