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Firefighter, alleged hitman make first court appearance in cocktail waitress’ slaying

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Steve Marcus

George Tiaffay, left, stands with attorneys Robert Langford and Maggie McLetchie during an initial appearance in court at the Clark County Regional Justice Center Monday, Oct. 15, 2012. Tiaffay, a City of Las Vegas firefighter, allegedly paid Noel Stevens, a homeless man, to kill his estranged wife, then tried to commit suicide when suspicion turned toward him.

Updated Monday, Oct. 15, 2012 | 11:32 a.m.

Court Appearance in Murder-For-Hire Plot

George Tiaffay appears in court at the Clark County Regional Justice Center Monday, Oct. 15, 2012. Tiaffay, a City of Las Vegas firefighter, allegedly paid Noel Stevens, a homeless man, to kill his estranged wife, then tried to commit suicide when suspicion turned toward him. Launch slideshow »

The Las Vegas firefighter accused of hiring a homeless man to kill his wife appeared Monday morning in Las Vegas Justice Court with his alleged co-conspirator.

Authorities say George Tiaffay, 40, hired Noel Stevens, 37, and paid him $600 to kill his estranged wife, 46-year-old Shauna Tiaffay, last month at her Summerlin apartment. The pair have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder, possession of burglary tools, conspiracy to commit burglary, conspiracy to commit robbery, burglary while in possession of a deadly weapon, robbery with use of a deadly weapon, murder with use of a deadly weapon, according to a criminal complaint. George Tiaffay also is charged with burglary and malicious destruction of property, according to a criminal complaint.

The defendants — shackled at their hands and feet and seated at opposite ends of a row — told Justice of the Peace Deborah Lippis they understood the charges.

Defense lawyer Robert Langford is representing George Tiaffay, who worked as a firefighter for Las Vegas Fire & Rescue; Clark County public defenders Dan Silverstein and Curtis Brown appeared in court on behalf of Stevens.

The defense attorneys said their clients waived their rights to a preliminary hearing in 15 days and asked for a court date in early 2013. Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo didn't object to the request because he said the case likely would go to a grand jury.

Lippis set George Tiaffay and Stevens' preliminary hearing for 10 a.m. Jan. 24.

George Tiaffay called 911 the morning of Sept. 29 to report finding his wife's body when he arrived at her apartment with the couple's 8-year-old daughter. The Clark County Coroner's Office ruled the death of Shauna Tiaffay, who worked as a cocktail waitress at the Palms, a homicide, caused by multiple blunt-force injuries.

According to the arrest report, an unidentified "concerned citizen" contacted police Sept. 30 about his friend's involvement in an alleged murder-for-hire plot. The tip led detectives to Stevens, a homeless man who had done handiwork for George Tiaffay.

While executing a search warrant at Stevens' desert campsite, detectives found a pair of jeans with the victim's blood, police say.

Further investigation revealed frequent contact between Stevens and George Tiaffay. Cell phone records showed George Tiaffay called Stevens 86 times during September, including several the day before his wife's death and one the day of the death.

When George Tiaffay learned detectives were investigating his involvement, police said he apparently tried to commit suicide by ramming his truck into a retaining wall at the end of Summerlin Parkway and the Las Vegas Beltway.

Detectives arrested him two days later, on Oct. 10, at University Medical Center.

Police allege George Tiaffay provided Stevens with a replica key to his wife's apartment so Stevens could wait inside for Shauna Tiaffay to return from work. Detectives found the victim's personal belongings strewn along a path bordering her apartment complex.

Two women, who identified themselves as co-workers of Shauna Tiaffay, attended the brief court hearing Monday morning, wearing pink bracelets in memory of their friend.

George Tiaffay and Noel Stevens remain in the Clark County Detention Center without bail.

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  1. Unnecessary violence at it's worst.

    I wonder who is taking care of this woman's 8 year old daughter?

  2. Glad to see that Las Vegas fire hires only the best... 1st it was thieves and now putting out contracts to kill people. keep up the good work boys. I say give them all raises to celebrate, there hard workers.

  3. In all fairness you can not comment about the fire-department. There are bad apples in every proffession. I do not agree with firefighters salaries, but I don't hold anything ajainst the fire-department for this scum bag and his accomplice. After they get their due process, I'd like to see these guys get life in solitary. Very cold and calculating what these two did and its eveil. Why not just leave the relationship!!

  4. This guy should have watched 48-hrs, he would have found out that you can't get away with murder. What did he think, this guy wasn't going to tell his homeless friends over a beer what he did.

  5. @anthony read the news sometime, 1 firefighter was arrested and found guilty for stealing drugs not only from his station but also from all ambulance company's here in town.

  6. @Mike Kasouf- perhaps it is you that should read the news. The person that was stealing the drugs 5 years ago did not work for Las Vegas fire.

    @anthony, starting salary is $16.07/hr for Las Vegas firefighters. Is that not enough for you?

    They should give these guys each a hammer, and let them battle to the death.

  7. @anthony, forgot to post the link:
    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2011/oct...

  8. @Doug my bad he was a Clark County (so called) firefighter... Also Doug here is George Tiaffay's past few years actual salary...

    http://transparentnevada.com/salaries/se...

  9. @Doug, I actually think 16.07 is low, it should be closer to 20. How many fire-fighters are actually making 16.07? It's the fire-fighters salaries that make over 10,000 a month I have a problem with.

  10. Shauna worked at the Palms from the beginning. I would always see her there when I visit the resort. A very sweet woman who was always friendly to the guests. Why this scumbug, human gargbage would physically abuse and kill his beautiful wife then throw away a salary of $163,000 then ruin his daughter's life is beyond me! Shauna tried her hardest to make the marriage work. But why? We will never know. Too bad we can't just let guards leave him alone for about 10 minutes, shut off the cameras and let the other inmates deal with him. Otherwise at least 10 years until he is executed...too bad for Shauna and her family to have to wait that long for final justice. His daughter should never visit him or forgive him for what he did to her mother.