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November 20, 2014

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Case of attack by fake Mormon missionaries focuses on victim’s pot use

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Metro Police

Two suspects in an armed robbery are shown June 27, 2013, in the area of Flamingo Road and Buffalo Drive. Police say the men dressed as Mormon missionaries.

Robert Estall, from December 2011

Robert Estall, from December 2011

Abraham Austin

Abraham Austin

The man who alleges two faux Mormon missionaries pistol-whipped and robbed him faced dogged questioning from attorneys on both sides of the case today when he took the stand.

The June 27 robbery wasn’t the first time Terence Delucia allegedly had his marijuana and money taken from his home at gunpoint. While he didn’t give a statement to police this go-around, he did after a July 2012 home robbery, according to documents referenced in court.

That statement, which he denies, includes comments about his involvement in drug dealing and negative views against blacks.

That statement will likely hold continued relevance when the preliminary hearing in Las Vegas Township Justice Court for Robert Estall, 25, and Abraham Austin Jr., 28, picks back up on Friday.

Estall and Austin face felony first-degree kidnapping, robbery and battery charges related to the alleged home invasion. The hearing will determine if the evidence against them is strong enough to send the case to Clark County District Court.

Delucia, who testified with his private attorney seated next to him, denied indicating to police that he had sold marijuana through the mail and testified he never said he hated black people.

He was candid about using the drug, which he said he needs because he has AIDS. Delucia doesn't have a medical marijuana card.

The 2012 robbery left him short $30,000 and two ounces of pot, and the most recent one cost him $3,000 and a little under an ounce of the drug, among other damages, he said

Mariana Kihuen, Estall’s public defender, asked Delucia if his testimony was that he had never inadvertently sent drugs through the postal service or FedEx.

He replied, after consulting his attorney, that he doesn’t use FedEx.

He also said he didn’t remember detectives telling him in that interview that his driveway looked like it was set up to move narcotics.

Delucia told prosecutors that he did not officially refuse to give police a taped statement after the most recent incident. He said he just didn’t give a statement because he was bereft from being assaulted so he had his wife fill out a written statement.

The defense will continue cross-examining Delucia on Friday and more witnesses will be called.

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