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September 15, 2014

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As hearing gets underway in fatal shooting of soldier, one suspect ready to accept plea

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L.E. Baskow

Adrian McClintock speaks to his attorney during his preliminary hearing at the Justice Center with Julio Renteria on Friday, June 20, 2014. The two are suspects in a Boulder Highway carjacking gone awry that ended in Dylan Joshua Salazar’s fatal shooting.

Preliminary hearing for suspects in soldier's slaying

Julio Renteria sits during his preliminary hearing at the Justice Center with Adrian McClintock on Friday, June 20, 2014. The two are suspects in a Boulder Highway carjacking gone awry that ended in Dylan Joshua Salazar's fatal shooting. Launch slideshow »

One of two men arrested in the botched carjacking and fatal shooting of a National Guardsman last month is expected to make a plea deal with prosecutors to reduce the severity of his charges.

Under the deal, Adrian McClintock, 22, would be convicted of conspiracy to commit a robbery, conspiracy to commit murder and discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle. He and co-defendant Julio Renteria, 20, are charged with one count each of murder and two counts of discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle.

McClintock and Renteria are accused of trying to steal a pickup from Nevada Army National Guard Spc. Dylan Joshua Salazar early May 6 in the parking lot of apartment complex and then shooting him in the head. Two handguns were found at the shooting site in the 5600 block of South Boulder Highway. Witnesses reported hearing at least four shots, but prosecutors believe Renteria fired the fatal round into Salazar’s head.

McClintock, of Las Vegas, would face a maximum of 16 years in prison under the deal, which he will accept before a judge on June 26, according to his attorneys.

No plea deal was offered to Renteria, who appeared today in Las Vegas Township Court for a preliminary hearing, which will determine if there is enough evidence to send the case to trial.

Both men remain at the Clark County Detention Center without bail.

At today's court proceeding, prosecutors brought to the witness stand a resident of the Sportsman's Royal Manor apartment complex who told police he heard the shooting and then watched a gunman flee the parking lot.

Timothy Walker, who was preparing to go to work when he heard the shooting about 5:30 a.m., said he saw a man of Renteria's stature -- about 5 feet, 7 inches -- run away from the pickup with a silver gun in his hand. He didn't see the gunman's face, however, and he did not recognize Renteria in court on today.

The reluctant key witness – Walker was subpoenaed onto the stand – wore plain clothes and shackles as he testified.

Walker is one of four witnesses that Clark County Chief Deputy District Attorney Frank Coumou plans to bring to the stand for Renteria's preliminary hearing, which will continue July 8.

Salazar's relatives, friends and fellow soldiers in uniform filled three rows of benches at today's hearing. Some shook their heads as Renteria's attorney, Ron Colquitt, cross-examined Walker.

"We're told (a resolution) could take years. Maybe they're just preparing us, you know, because it might be a long time," said Salazar's mother, Denise Alexander, her eyes welling.

Alexander's husband says the family is willing to wait if it means prosecutors can obtain the maximum punishment possible for Renteria.

"No matter how long it takes," Ruben Alexander said. "We don't want him to get any plea bargains."

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