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October 21, 2014

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Ana Ley

Courts reporter

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Committee being formed to address ballooning jail costs
Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014
Citing a $28 million deficit at Clark County’s downtown jail, Metro Police officials this morning said the department needs help tackling the facility’s ballooning costs. Metro Deputy Chief Todd Fasulo, who oversees ...
Police shootings produce lots of debate, but researchers know surprisingly little about how to reduce them
Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014
Politicians, protesters and TV talking heads have spent lots of time talking about police shootings in the last few months. But the reality is, the nation's top criminal justice experts know very little about what triggers the use of lethal force and how police departments can better ...
For Clark County sheriff, it’s policy wonk or likable leader
Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014
Las Vegas’ top cop holds one of the most powerful elected law enforcement positions in the country. The job entails protecting 2 million residents, nearly 40 million tourists and billions worth of Strip property. Clark County voters next month will choose which candidate is up to the task. When incumbent Doug Gillespie announced ...
Group trying to revive Nevada’s same-sex marriage ban
Monday, Oct. 13, 2014
A group that fought to keep the state's same-sex marriage ban is now trying to revive it. The Coalition for the Protection of Marriage filed a petition ...
Frustration then elation: Gay couples begin to tie the knot in Las Vegas
Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014
Surrounded by a crush of news cameras, Antioco Carrillo and Theo Small grinned and posed with the single-page document they'd fought two years to obtain. "It's a dream ...
For reunited same-sex couple, a second waiting game begins
Gay couples hoping to marry in Las Vegas experience 'roller coaster ride'
Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014
Anna Singson and Georgia Covey had planned a surprise wedding after same-sex marriage was suddenly legalized in Nevada late Tuesday. But a flurry of legal wrangling has since spread confusion and uncertainty over whether gay couples can wed, forcing them to ...
‘This is just huge’: Politicians, gay couples rejoice after marriage victory
Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014
Gay-rights advocates and politicians scrambled to assemble in downtown Las Vegas Tuesday evening for a surprise celebration of the state's sudden legalization of ...
Have we reason to fear terrorism on the Strip?
Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014
As an American landmark, the Strip is in the limelight. That’s true for tourists, but also for terrorists. The question for Metro Police is: When terror threats emerge, how should police share them without needlessly scaring tourists and residents? Two recent but vague ...
Q+A: Voters’ guide for Nevada attorney general
Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014
The campaign for Nevada attorney general is a relatively dynamic race in an otherwise lackluster election season. Secretary of State Ross Miller and lawyer Adam Laxalt ...
North Las Vegas vows to use federal grant to diversify police force
Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014
The cash-strapped North Las Vegas Police Department, which hasn't hired a new officer in five years, is getting a $1.6 million boost from the U.S. Justice Department to enlist 13 new recruits, the city announced today. Officials vowed to use the grant to hire ...
Group to examine child welfare system, courts
Monday, Sept. 29, 2014
A Nevada Supreme Court Justice has assembled a panel of dignitaries to examine perceived deficiencies in Clark County’s child welfare system and courts. Justice Nancy Saitta created the committee to ...
After federal intervention, Metro’s diversity still lags Las Vegas
Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014
Over the past 25 years, Las Vegas’ population has flipped from three-fourths white to one primarily made up of minorities. The city’s police force hasn’t ...
Q+A: Voters’ guide for Clark County district attorney
Friday, Sept. 26, 2014
Clark County voters will decide this fall whether to keep District Attorney Steve Wolfson as their top prosecutor. Wolfson, a Democrat, doesn’t face much ...
Q+A: Voters’ guide for the Nevada Supreme Court
Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014
Two Supreme Court justices will show up on election ballots across Nevada this fall. Justices Mark Gibbons and Mary “Kris” Pickering are running ...
Voters’ guide for Clark County District Court judicial races
Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014
Clark County voters have a dizzying list of options to fill their local bench of judges. But come Election Day, almost half ...
What exactly is Tesla building up there?
Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014
Tesla Motors chose Northern Nevada as the location for its lithium-ion battery plant. In five minutes, we’ll make you an expert on what a lithium-ion battery is, how it’s made and the difference between it and your standard Duracell. Actually, this one’s pretty complex, so maybe 10 minutes. ...
Study ranks Nevada sixth in nation in rate of women killed by men
Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014
Nevada ranks sixth in the nation in the rate of women killed by men, according to a new study published by a gun control advocacy group. A nationwide analysis of 2012 homicide data ...
Gay rights advocates in Las Vegas ‘optimistic’ after arguments in gay marriage case
Monday, Sept. 8, 2014
Sporting rainbow tie-dye shirts, Paul Juhala and Larry Dominguez were all smiles Monday afternoon as they contemplated the three-hour hearing they'd just watched live from a federal courtroom ...
On the ballot this November, an appeal for a new court
Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014
In November, voters will decide whether the state Supreme Court is overburdened enough to merit creating a court between it and the district level.
Federal program that spurred overhaul of Metro policies will be used in Ferguson
Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014
The program, dubbed the Collaborative Reform Initiative, will investigate operations at the St. Louis County Police Department. A separate civil rights probe, meanwhile, will examine allegations of ...
Appeals court to review challenge to Nevada’s gay marriage ban
Friday, Aug. 29, 2014
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled arguments for Sevcik v. Sandoval at 1 p.m. on Sept. 8, the same day the court will consider similar appeals from Hawaii ...
Crowd gathers to rally for change, remember Missouri teen Michael Brown
Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014
They sang hymns, lit candles and hoisted cardboard signs Thursday evening beneath a statue of Martin Luther King as the sun dipped into a fiery horizon. Reacting to the Aug. 9 shooting, the 200 people ...
Las Vegas vigil planned for teen killed by police in Missouri
Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014
A group of community activists plans to gather Thursday night in Las Vegas to commemorate Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo. The group has ...
Judge to rule in rent dispute between pizzeria, Tivoli Village
Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014
A resolution is in sight in a two-year rent dispute between the owners of Radio City Pizzeria and the slowly developing Tivoli Village at Queensridge. Clark County District Court Judge Gloria Sturman this week is expected to ...
A look inside Nevada’s death row with a federal defense attorney
Friday, Aug. 22, 2014
For decades, Michael Pescetta has sought to help dozens of defendants facing Nevada’s often imposed yet seldom used death penalty. And in a state with a per capita death penalty rate that ranks fourth in the country ...
Gun trial set for embattled former legislator
Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014
An embattled former assemblyman who last year became the only person ever expelled from the Nevada Legislature will be tried in October for allegedly threatening to hurt Democratic Assembly leader Marilyn Kirkpatrick with a gun.
Bail set for former guard charged in prison phone-smuggling case
Monday, Aug. 18, 2014
A Las Vegas judge today set bail at $50,000 for a former prison guard facing felony charges for allegedly smuggling cellphones into the cell of an inmate awaiting trial in a deadly Strip shooting and crash. The judge also ordered ...
Woman accused in fatal crime spree pleads not guilty
Monday, Aug. 18, 2014
A woman accused of carrying out a crime spree in a southeast valley neighborhood that left two people dead pleaded not guilty today in Clark County District Court. Natasha Jackson, 35, faces charges that...
Jury awards couple $2.4 million in suit against Meridian developer
Friday, Aug. 15, 2014
A jury today awarded $2.4 million to a couple who sued the developers of an upscale condominium complex near the Las Vegas Strip.
Cigarettes blamed in fires at Cosmopolitan, apartment
Friday, Aug. 15, 2014
A cigarette sparked a fire this afternoon inside a hotel room at the Cosmopolitan. The blaze erupted inside a trash can at 1:12 p.m., causing an estimated ...
Former UFC fighter sought in attack on ex-girlfriend arrested in Calif.
Friday, Aug. 15, 2014
A former UFC fighter known as War Machine wanted in an attack on his former girlfriend and porn star Christy Mack was arrested today at an Extended Stay America hotel in ...
Former program director pleads not guilty in theft of School District funds
Monday, July 28, 2014
A former department head with the Clark County School District pleaded not guilty today to 52 charges related to the theft of nearly $300,000 from her employer. Priscilla Rocha is accused of...
Teen found mentally incompetent for trial in brother’s slaying
Friday, July 25, 2014
A teen charged with murder in the death of his older brother is not mentally competent to stand trial, a Clark County District Court judge ruled...
Former Strip performer gets life in ‘Fantasy’ dancer’s murder, dismemberment
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Jason Griffith was sentenced today to a maximum of life in a Nevada prison, the latest chapter in a headline-grabbing case involving two former Las Vegas Strip performers, one of whom ...
Two mothers brace for sentencing in killing of Luxor dancer
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
A suspenseful day awaits two mothers preparing to meet on opposite ends of a Clark County courtroom on Wednesday for the sentencing of Jason Griffith, a performer convicted of killing his ...
Five, including former program director, indicted in case involving misuse of CCSD funds
Friday, July 18, 2014
Priscilla Rocha, director of the district's Adult English Language Acquisition program, is one of five people named in the indictment issued today by a county grand jury. Rocha faces charges that include burglary, theft …
New trial set for suspect in Thunder From Down Under shooting
Thursday, July 17, 2014
A man accused of firing a gun at the Excalibur during a scuffle with members of the Thunder From Down Under male revue ​will face trial for a second time in...
Trial set for man facing death penalty in elderly woman’s slaying
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
A man facing the death penalty in the robbery, pistol-whipping and fatal shooting of a 75-year-old woman will be tried next year in Clark County District Court. Bayzle Morgan, 22, is accused of...
Gang informant facing life imprisonment after judge’s ruling on plea deal
Monday, July 14, 2014
A Clark County judge today rejected a police informant's efforts to back out of a controversial plea deal that led to ...
Tangled in legal web, informant scrambles to stay out of prison before murder trial
Saturday, July 12, 2014
The legal web in which Raul “Sparks” Gonzalez is entangled is a complicated one, bound together by his lengthy criminal history that includes a voluntary manslaughter conviction in 1999, alleged gang ties and his willingness to …
2 at Metro removed from task force after freeing violent felon from jail
Friday, July 11, 2014
An internal investigation showed they improperly orchestrated the release of convicted killer Raul "Sparks" Gonzalez from jail weeks before he allegedly killed another man ...
Las Vegas stripper pleads guilty in fatal DUI crash
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Dabbing tears from her eyes, a former Las Vegas strip club dancer pleaded guilty today to driving under the influence of alcohol on her way home from work when her Hummer H2 collided with another vehicle last year, killing ...
Mistrial declared in ‘Thunder’ trial
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Clark County District Court spokeswoman Mary Ann Price said Judge Jerome Tao stopped the trial after jurors admitted to talking about …
Woman sentenced in son's shooting: 'Once again, I was made the victim'
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Characterizing herself as a virtuous, doting mother who is routinely victimized by loved ones, Linda Cooney stood shackled in a Clark County courtroom this morning and pleaded for ...
Lawsuit alleges Wynn Elementary staff bullied girl, 10, for being black
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
The complaint comes less than three months after a pair of families sued the district for allegedly failing to protect their children from chronic taunting by other students. One of the families said their son considered …
Dancer testifies of defendant’s ‘animal strength’ in ‘Thunder’ shooting trial
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
A dancer in Excalibur's male strip revue “Thunder From Down Under” testified that he and at least five other performers struggled to subdue a man accused of breaking into ...

Opening statements set to start in ‘Thunder’ shooting trial
Monday, July 7, 2014
Opening statements in the trial of a man accused of sparking a scuffle and firing a gun as he tried to steal costumes and props from members of the "Thunder From Down Under" male revue are expected …
Living his primary lesson: Teacher gets second chance after felony conviction
Friday, July 4, 2014
The greatest lesson Edward Bevilacqua has given his ex-felon students likely came when the instructor nearly lost his teaching job over his own criminal past. The lesson for Bevilacqua's students? Second chances …
Trial delayed for men accused of posing as Mormon missionaries in robbery
Thursday, July 3, 2014
The trial for a pair of men accused of posing as Moron missionaries and muscling their way into a Las Vegas house to carry out an armed robbery has been delayed for a second time. At the request of prosecutors...
Court overturns decision to dismiss Metro suit over fatal dog shooting
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Three Las Vegas families are entitled to a trial on their claims that Metro Police officers violated their constitutional rights by entering a home without a warrant, holding a group of teenagers inside at gunpoint and fatally shooting ...

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