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March 31, 2015

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First coroner’s inquest under new rules is set for June 29


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

A Metro officer stands by patrol cars at the scene of an officer involved shooting outside a Speedee Mart at 3011 East Desert Inn Road Monday, November 15, 2010.

A coroner's inquest in the November officer-involved shooting of Benjamin Bowman is scheduled for 8 a.m. June 29 and will be the first inquest to use an ombudsman to represent the decedent’s family.

The first step of the revised inquest process, a pre-inquest meeting between parties related to the shooting, was Monday at the Regional Justice Center and ended by setting the date for a second private pre-inquest meeting between the parties. The inquest is open to the public.

Monday's private proceedings were attended by law enforcement, Bowman's family, legal representation, the ombudsman, a District Attorney’s office representative and members of the coroner’s office. Officials discussed the facts of the case, evidence to be presented, the initial witness list and set a final pre-inquest meeting for June 3, according to a county news release.

Bowman died of multiple gunshot wounds Nov. 15, 2010, at a PT’s Pub near Nellis Boulevard and Sahara Avenue.

Police said Bowman took a female bartender hostage with a knife during a failed robbery attempt. When the woman broke free, police said Bowman tried to stab her and they shot him.

The new ordinance to revise the inquest hearing process was passed on Dec. 7, 2010. Changes include the establishment of an ombudsman to represent the victim’s family, the release of key evidence and investigative files, and the restructuring of meetings before the inquest hearing.

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  1. To my fellow bloggers,

    I am wondering how this new inquest panel would have handled the ex-officer Carpenter pursuit case? Why isn't the new inquest panel handling this case? The more I think about it, the more this new inquest panel is resembling a Witch Hunt. I am getting a very uneasy feeling about this whole new process, maybe we should just consider using the Grand Jury and scrap the new inquest panel, at least it has real attorneys running it, instead of law clerks. The issue that we are dealing with is pretty important and we all would sure like to do it right, wouldn't we?

    Just an old cop reflecting,

    Gordon Martines