Two men charged with several robberies and New Year’s Eve fatal shootings on the Las Vegas Strip may face the death penalty, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The Clark County district attorney’s office filed paperwork last week in court to clear the way for executing the men if they are found guilty of the crimes.
In February, Jesani Carter, 20, and Jordan Ruby, 18, both of California, were indicted for 13 counts. Among the charges against both men were two counts of murder with a deadly weapon of a victim 60 or older.
Attempted murder, armed robbery, attempted robbery, and conspiracy are among the other counts, KLAS, a local TV station, said.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo and District Attorney Steve Wolfson did not detail their reasoning for seeking the death penalty for the murder counts.
The evidence will show that the two defendants came to Las Vegas on the busiest day of the year to ‘make money’ by robbing people in the tourist corridor,” DiGiacomo wrote in Friday’s court document, the Review-Journal reported.
“During the course of their actions to ‘make money,’ the two defendants killed two innocent bystanders while taking their money and/or property.”
Carter and Ruby remain in custody at the Clark County Detention Center. No bail was set. The pair will next appear in court on Aug. 25. They have yet to be tried in court.
Prosecutors claim that over two days, the defendants took part in five robberies. They were in parking garages at casinos and at the Fashion Show mall.
Typically, the two drove in a BMW to a garage. They searched for a robbery victim, then one suspect exited the vehicle, police said. He approached the victim, pointed a firearm, and robbed them, police add.
The robberies occurred at the Wynn Las Vegas. Then, at the Fashion Show mall, where nearby Clarice Yamaguchi, 66, of Hawaii was fatally killed, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD).
Then, at the Sahara Las Vegas, a robber tried to steal a backpack from a worker there. The bandit also fired a shot at the employee.
That was followed by a Palace Station robbery in a parking garage. During another robbery at the same garage, Hyo Sup Um, 60, was wounded. He later died. His wallet was stolen.
Several of the robberies were caught on surveillance video. Other evidence may include a 9 mm Glock firearm.
Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1977, Nevada has executed 12 convicts, according to the Nevada Coalition Against the Death Penalty (NCADP).
But Nevada has not executed a defendant in more than 16 years, NCADP President Nancy Hart said. Nationally, many defendants sentenced to execution go through an extensive and expensive appeal process.
Carter Says He Is Not Robber
Carter, during an interview with the Review-Journal, denied guilt in the crimes. Carter claimed that LVMPD cops arrested the “wrong person.”
He told the newspaper that he believed he would soon be released from jail. He further claimed to be a “platinum” gambler at a Strip resort.
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