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September 22, 2014

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Airman charged with murder; police report says he took sleeping pill after fight that killed wife

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Rickey Massey Jr.

Nellis Air Force Base authorities found Theresa Rivera’s body in the garage of her home with a blanket covering her entire body and injuries to her face.

A night earlier, Rivera and her husband, Tech Sgt. Rickey L. Massey Jr., had been involved in a fight at their on-base house in the 4400 block of Kevil Circle. It started when Massey snatched his wife’s phone to get her attention and escalated into a physical altercation. It ended with a fall in the kitchen and Massey realizing his wife was bleeding and not moving.

These are among the details outlined in a Metro Police arrest report that revealed a volatile relationship between the couple that erupted in a fight Thursday. The Clark County District Attorney’s Office this morning charged Massey, 32, with one count of murder in his wife’s death.

The Metro arrest report indicates the following:

Arguments between the two started shortly after Massey was transferred in April to Nellis and he and Rivera, his wife of two months, moved into base housing with Rivera’s two children from a previous marriage. The family had been having a hard time adjusting to the new assignment, and witnesses said they sometimes had a volatile relationship.

Thursday night, Massey told police he had been drinking a couple of rum and sodas as he built some glass tables. He said he had been talking to his wife, but she wasn’t listening so Massey took the phone.

Rivera then started kicking and punching Massey, but he blocked the attacks. The fight escalated, Massey said, when Rivera called Massey a liar and threatened to cheat on him.

Rivera attacked again, but this time Massey fought back.

He grabbed Rivera around the waist and neck and the two fell to the kitchen floor. Rivera hit her head on the tile. She continued to swing at Massey, but Massey said he held Rivera until she stopped moving.

Only then, did Massey realize Rivera was bleeding from the head. Massey said he decided to carry Rivera to the garage and cover her with a blanket. Massey said he took a prescription sleeping pill and went to bed.

The next morning Rivera’s son and daughter, who had been asleep during the argument, knocked on the door of the master bedroom to speak to their mother, but there was no answer. The boy alerted his grandparents and then his neighbors that his parents appeared to be home but not responding. Both the son and daughter were at school when Nellis police arrived and discovered Rivera’s body in the garage and Massey asleep in the bedroom.

Massey is in the Clark County Detention Center without bail and is due in court on the murder charge for a 7:30 a.m. Thursday hearing.

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