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September 22, 2014

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Bail reduced for man accused of posing as Mormon missionary in robbery

Image

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.

Abraham Austin

Abraham Austin

Robert Estall, from December 2011

Robert Estall, from December 2011

A Clark County judge reduced bail this morning for a man accused of posing as a Mormon missionary and muscling his way into a Las Vegas home to rob a man at gunpoint.

During a pretrial conference this morning, Senior Clark County District Judge Nancy Becker agreed to reduce Abraham Austin’s bail by nearly half to $150,000 — the same amount as that for his alleged co-conspirator, Robert Estall.

Austin and Estall are charged with first-degree kidnapping, robbery, battery and burglary in the alleged pistol-whipping and robbery of Terence Delucia on June 27, 2013.

They are accused of knocking on Delucia’s door, ostensibly to talk religion, then breaking into the house.

Austin was arrested Aug. 23 and Estall turned himself in to authorities on Aug. 28.

The men have rejected plea deals that would have given them the right to argue for probation, according to court records.

At a Jan. 8 hearing, Estall told a judge he declined the nonbinding offer because it wouldn’t guarantee probation.

At the same hearing, Austin’s attorney asked a judge to address competency issues for his client because he didn’t seem to understand the court process. Austin has since been deemed fit to stand trial.

Bail for both men initially was set at $250,000 by Las Vegas Township Judge Janiece Marshall, though Estall’s bail was reduced to $150,000 on April 7.

Attorneys for both men have unsuccessfully tried having their clients freed on their own recognizance, arguing that both had clean criminal records.

The defendants remain behind bars at the Clark County Detention Center, and their case is set for trial July 7 in Clark County District Court.

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