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April 19, 2014

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Two defendants, two different pleas in slaying of Palms cocktail waitress

Victim’s husband pleads not guilty; alleged hitman admits to charges

Image

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.

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

The firefighter and homeless man allegedly involved in a murder-for-hire plot that left a Palms cocktail waitress dead in September entered different pleas Thursday during their arraignments in Clark County District Court.

The victim’s estranged husband, 41-year-old George Tiaffay, who worked as a Las Vegas firefighter, pleaded not guilty to numerous charges, including conspiracy to commit murder and murder with use of a deadly weapon, court officials said.

Tiaffay’s not-guilty plea sets the stage for a jury trial, which Judge Jerome Tao set for Jan. 13, 2014.

Tiaffay, however, will head to trial alone. His alleged co-conspirator, Noel Stevens, 37, pleaded guilty to all charges Thursday, court officials said. Stevens will be sentenced after Tiaffay’s trial.

Authorities say George Tiaffay hired Stevens, a homeless man, and paid him $600 in September to kill his estranged wife, 46-year-old Shauna Tiaffay, at her Summerlin apartment.

George Tiaffay called 911 the morning of Sept. 29 to report finding his wife’s body at her apartment when he arrived with their 8-year-old daughter, according to an arrest report. Shauna Tiaffay had died from multiple blunt-force injuries, the coroner later determined.

On Sept. 30, an unidentified “concerned citizen” contacted police about his friend’s involvement in an alleged murder-for-hire plot. The tip led authorities to Stevens, who had once done handiwork for George Tiaffay.

A subsequent police investigation revealed frequent phone contact — 86 calls in September, including several the day before Shauna Tiaffay’s death — between George Tiaffay and Stevens.

Upon learning he was under investigation in his wife’s death, George Tiaffay apparently tried to commit suicide by ramming his truck into a wall, police said. Detectives arrested him two days later, on Oct. 10, at University Medical Center.

A Clark County grand jury indicted George Tiaffay and Stevens in late December, pushing their cases to District Court.

George Tiaffay and Stevens were charged with conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit burglary, conspiracy to commit robbery, burglary while in possession of a deadly weapon, robbery with a deadly weapon and murder with a deadly weapon, according to the indictment.

In addition, Stevens was charged with burglary, and George Tiaffay was charged with possession of burglary tools, according to the indictment.

Both men remain in the Clark County Detention Center without bail.

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  1. These whack-jobs should get the death penalty. Instead, they'll waste tax payer money for the rest of their lives.....