Tuesday, July 1, 2014 | 2 a.m.
A midday ambush at a pizza restaurant took the lives of two police officers, and before the event came to an end five people would be dead. Homeless on homeless crime. A mother overtaken by voices and throwing two of her children out of a second-story window.
June was a month filled with horrific crimes in the Las Vegas Valley. Here's a look at some that captured the public's interest:
James Mark Hahn
The beating and choking didn’t kill Paul Pillat – at least not immediately.
But six days after the homeless man was punched, kicked and strangled – likely as payback for groping a drunken homeless woman a block east of the Las Vegas Strip – Pillat was dead. The Clark County Coroner’s Office ruled his death a homicide and said the cause was strangulation.
A subsequent Metro Police investigation led police to a group of homeless people that included the woman who was groped, James Mark Hahn and Charles Summerlin.
Summerlin told detectives he witnessed the groping and told Pillat to stop. When Pillat continued, Summerlin said, he used his fist to punch Pillat in the face and then kicked him in the ribs. Summerlin told detectives he later heard Hahn had choked Pillat but didn’t witness any choking.
The homeless woman said she later heard Summerlin and Hahn had beaten Pillat. She also heard Hahn bragging about “kicking the (tar)” out of Pillat.
Police said Hahn, 46, admitted to grabbing Pillat, a friend, around the neck in a headlock and taking him to the ground “full force.”
Hahn’s admission, along with the coroner’s determination of the cause of Pillat’s death, led police to arrest Hahn. He is in the Clark County Detention Center without bail, and is charged in Las Vegas Township Justice Court with a single count of open murder. A preliminary hearing is set for July 10.
He hung around an ice arena, befriending single mothers of hockey-playing boys.
That’s where, police say, he befriended the mother of a minor boy whom he would subsequently abuse sexually.
Bryan Hargrave, 40, is in custody at the Clark County Detention Center, charged with three counts of lewdness with a child under the age of 14.
A Metro Police report said Hargrave became “Uncle Bryan” to the alleged victim’s family. They had met him about two years ago at the Fiesta Rancho hockey rink.
On June 16, however, the 39-year-old mother contacted Metro after her son told her Hargrave had touched him inappropriately on four occasions.
According to the report, Hargrave often would come over to the mother’s house and would help her tuck her children into bed. On recent occasions, the nighttime routine was different. With the mother in a separate room tucking in her daughter, Uncle Bryan was in the boy’s room and allegedly touching the boy inappropriately. The door to the daughter’s room is loud when closing, the mother told police, so Hargrave would have been able to hear the mother when she was on the way to the boy’s room.
After being confronted over the phone about the allegations, Hargrave tried to commit suicide by slitting his wrists, according to Henderson Police. He has since recovered from those injuries and was arrested. Hargrave remains in the Clark County Detention Center without bail. He is due back in court for a July 10 preliminary hearing.
A 911 call led police to the body of Iris Moran and, ultimately, helped them conclude her former husband, Marvin Fernando Moran, was responsible for her death.
“All right, pay attention,” the 911 caller said on June 13. “2606 S. Durango, apartment 873. There’s a (woman) dying. Go help her out. Ain’t no joke.”
Police went to the Symphony Condos in The Lakes, but the housing units there were numbered only in the 100s and 200s. Responding officers decided to check on apartment 273.
There, officers found Iris Moran sprawled out on the floor in a pool of blood. Her wrists were tied behind her back. It appeared she had been badly beaten.
Police records of a previous domestic disturbance call involving Iris Moran pointed officers toward Marvin Moran, 36.
Police caught up with him near his home in the 7900 block of Cina Avenue. Officers told Marvin Moran they were investigating an incident and wanted to speak to him. Marvin Moran agreed to talk.
During the interview, Marvin Moran told police his ex-wife was living at “2606 S. Durango, No. 873.”
Marvin Moran said his wife had obtained a divorce for financial reasons, but he denied killing her. He also denied placing the 911 call. Then he asked for an attorney.
Police placed him under arrest.
As they continued their investigation, Iris Moran’s mother and oldest son from a previous marriage, plus her 11 year-old daughter all identified the voice on a recording of the 911 call as Marvin Moran.
Marvin Moran remains jailed in the Clark County Detention Center. He is charged in Las Vegas Township Justice Court with murder, burglary and kidnapping. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 8.
First, she set fire to the couch in the alley between East Charleston Boulevard and East Lewis Avenue, investigators say.
Then, she stopped briefly to set a nearby bush on fire.
The fires on June 19 quickly spread to a large tree, and from there jumped to two vacant apartment buildings at 1816 and 1820 E. Lewis Ave. Flames destroyed overhead utility cables in the alley, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue officials said.
Damage was estimated at $50,000.
Witnesses helped lead authorities to the woman, June A. Wilkinson, 29, Las Vegas.
She was detained by Metro for Las Vegas Fire & Rescue fire investigators shortly after the fire. Initially, she was charged with four counts of felony arson. Subsequently, she also was charged with a gross misdemeanor count of destruction of another person’s property.
She remains jailed in the Clark County Detention Center with bail set at $54,000. She is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing Monday.
Police had suspected Joshua Joslyn was operating an illegal grow operation at his home in south Las Vegas. They had run surveillance on him and his house in the 5700 block of Sobb Ave.
When a Metro narcotics detective approached Joslyn in his driveway and told him of the grow-house suspicions, Joslyn replied he had a valid medical marijuana card. Advised he was allowed 12 marijuana plants and 2½ ounces of marijuana with the card, Joslyn told the detective he had “a little more than 12 plants” in the house.
Subsequently, the officers obtained a search warrant for the property. Inside, they found:
• 157 marijuana plant in different stages of growth
• 373.6 grams of finished marijuana
• 407.2 grams of marijuana “shake” or bits
• 41.1 grams of what was believed to be marijuana edibles
• .9 grams of marijuana hash.
Joslyn was arrested on counts of possession with intent to sell marijuana; possession of marijuana; unlawful processing/production of marijuana. Joslyn, who has a prior arrest record in Arizona and Florida, also faces a count of prohibited person in possession of a firearm.
The Clark County District Attorney’s Office said it had not yet filed formal charges in the case. Joslyn is free on $35,000 bond.
Luz Robledo Ibarra
On the morning of June 12, Luz Robledo Ibarra, 35, urged on by voices in her head, according to a Metro Police report, threw her 1-year-old daughter and 6-month old son out of a second-story bedroom window of their home in the 3700 block of Spiritual Way. She followed by jumping, the report said.
Police found Ibarra in the backyard with her mother, who was holding the two injured children. Ibarra and the children were taken to University Medical Center.
Ibarra is charged with two counts of attempted murder and two counts of child abuse with substantial bodily harm.
According to the police report, Ibarra had a recent history of mental issues. She visited a doctor in March complaining of insomnia, anxiety, pain in her upper back and neck, and feeling overwhelmed with responsibility, the report said.
The doctor prescribed her Zoloft, an antidepressant that treats anxiety and depression. She returned to the doctor on April 7 and was offered psychiatric treatment at a clinic, but she declined, saying she would “control it on her own,” the report said.
The doctor documented that “the patient denies suicidal thought, but she looks very restless and uncomfortable.” He tried to treat her a second time with Zoloft, but she refused to take the medication, the report said.
Both children suffered multiple fractures and lacerations and were taken to the hospital in critical condition. They have since been released from the hospital and are being cared for by their father.
Ibarra is scheduled to undergo a psychiatric examination ahead of a preliminary scheduled in August in Las Vegas Township Justice Court.
Jerad and Amanda Miller
It was a series of criminal acts unparalleled in the history of Las Vegas: Two Metro Police officers shot and killed while they ate lunch at an east Las Vegas pizza restaurant. Minutes later, the assailants would cross the street, enter a busy Wal-Mart and announce the start of their "revolution."
Sheriff Doug Gillespie said the initial 911 calls about the execution-style shootings of Officers Igor Soldo and Alyn Beck at the CiCi’s came in at 11:22 a.m. Sunday, June 8. The first responding officers were at CiCi’s by 11:26 a.m. By then, the Millers were already on their way to the Wal-Mart.
At 11:28 a.m., Jerad Miller entered the Wal-Mart and declared, “The revolution has started. The cops are coming. Get out!” When it appeared few were heeding his warning, Jerad Miller fired a shot into the air, and shoppers started scrambling.
It was at that point, Gillespie said, that bystander Joseph Wilcox, who had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, confronted Jerad Miller. Unknown to Wilcox, however, Jerad Miller was not alone. Amanda Miller shot and killed Wilcox.
The two Millers then went to the sporting goods section of the store, where they broke open a display case and grabbed the ammunition it contained.
Gillespie said the two were well armed — including the firearms they had taken from Soldo and Beck — and had armor-piercing ammunition designed to kill. Gillespie said Amanda Miller purchased their weapons in Indiana. The Millers moved in January to Las Vegas from Lafayette, Ind.
During the attacks, the Millers wore adult diapers, carried water and MREs, the military's meals ready to eat.
"They knew they weren't going to use restrooms or they knew they were going to be in a standoff," Gillespie replied when asked why suspects would wear diapers.
The Millers' intent, Gillespie said, was to kill police officers.
Inside the Wal-Mart, responding Metro Officer Brett Brosnahan was the first officer in contact with the Millers. As Brosnahan was tracking Jerad Miller, Gillespie said, he came face-to-face with Amanda Miller.
Both holding guns, Amanda Miller raised her handgun, firing. She missed Brosnhan completely, but he fired and caught her in the shoulder. Brosnahan backed away, went outside and gave info to additional officers who arrived.
Sgt. Kurt McKenzie tried to negotiate with the Millers, but Jerad Miller had a message for the officers on the scene.
“Stand down. You have failed. I am in charge now.”
Jerad Miller was misinformed.
Within minutes, he had exposed himself and was fatally wounded by a .223-caliber bullet to the chest; shortly afterward Amanda Miller shot herself in the side of the head. She later died at University Medical Center.
James Robert Pete
According to a Metro Police report, the detective confronted James Robert Pete with his theory about a fatal stabbing that took place in the early morning hours of June 9:
Pete was looking out for another homeless woman whose boyfriend was in jail. So when Pete found out the woman had taken a beating at the hands of "Q," another man on the streets, Pete became angered and stabbed "Q" to death.
Pete nodded his head in agreement and told the detective he appreciated his honesty. Pete, however, wouldn't confess to the stabbing of Devone Blair in the 800 block of East Sahara Avenue, near Maryland Parkway. If the blood on Pete's clothing was Blair's, Pete told the detective, he had no explanation for it.
"What happened that night," Pete said, "had to happen. Regrettably, it had to happen."
Should the police be looking for anyone else in the crime, the detective asked Pete.
"No. I think you'd be wasting your time" Pete answered, according to the report.
Pete, 55, is charged in Las Vegas Township Justice Court with murder. He remains in Clark County Detention Center without bail. He is scheduled back in court on Aug. 12 for the continuation of his preliminary hearing.