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October 20, 2014

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Crime and courts:

Sentencing of suspect in Strip shooting delayed in unrelated rape case

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Steve Marcus

Ammar Harris, the suspect the Feb. 21, 2013, Las Vegas Strip shooting and resulting car crash that killed three people, appears in court at the Regional Justice Center Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. Harris is awaiting sentencing on a unrelated court case.

Updated Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 | 12:07 p.m.

Ammar Harris in Court in October 2013

Ammar Harris, the suspect the Feb. 21 Las Vegas Strip shooting and car crash that killed three people, appears in court at the Regional Justice Center Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013. Launch slideshow »

For the second time in as many months attorneys for Ammar Harris, suspected of killing three people in a startling shooting last year on the Las Vegas Strip, won a delay today in his sentencing on an unrelated conviction.

Clark County District Judge Kathleen Delaney delayed the sentencing until Feb. 26. A jury in September found Harris guilty of sexual assault and robbery stemming from a case that opened in 2010.

Attorneys Robert Langford and Thomas Ericsson were appointed to represent Harris on Oct. 30 after Harris reported conflicts with his court-appointed attorney. David Schieck, a special public defender, had represented Harris in the sexual assault case.

Langford told Delaney today he and Ericsson had only recently received the transcripts from the trial, and the defense team needed more time to review them.

“If I was being sentenced, I would want my attorney to know what happened at my trial,” Langford said in asking for a six-week delay.

Delaney, who last month also delayed sentencing, said she still intended to move the case along in a “timely fashion,” but said a six-week delay was not “unreasonable.”

After the hearing, Ericsson said he and Langford were exploring “a lot of issues” and still were going over trial transcripts. An appeal of the conviction is possible once Harris is sentenced, Ericsson said.

Harris, 27, is in custody and awaiting trial on three capital-murder charges stemming from the Feb. 21 shooting and crash on Las Vegas Boulevard. After Harris was taken into custody, a woman who earlier accused Harris of robbery and sexual assault resurfaced, and prosecutors reopened that case, which resulted in the conviction.

Harris’ trial in the Strip shooting case is scheduled for September.

According to Metro Police reports and court records, the Strip incident began when Harris got into an argument in the valet area of the Aria with another man, Kenneth Cherry Jr.

After the two drove off in separate vehicles, Harris is accused of shooting at Cherry’s car as the two drove north on Las Vegas Boulevard.

Cherry was shot and subsequently lost control of his car and slammed into a cab, causing it to explode, authorities said.

Cherry died, as did cab driver Michael Boldon, 62, and cab passenger Sandra Sutton-Wasmund, 48, a businesswoman from Maple Valley, Wash.

Freddy Walters, a passenger in Cherry’s car, was shot but survived.

Harris remains in the Clark County Detention Center without bond.

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