Luxor Casino Bomber Apprehended in Vegas After Brazen Escape from Nevada Prison

The escaped Luxor casino bomber was located and arrested on Wednesday night after five days on the lam. He was spotted in Las Vegas near the intersection of North Eastern and Owens avenues, and then apprehended by local police.

Porfirio Duarte-Herrera
Porfirio Duarte-Herrera
Porfirio Duarte-Herrera in a mug shot, pictured above. He was captured in Las Vegas on Wednesday after escaping from prison on Friday. (Image: Nevada Department of Corrections)

Porfirio Duarte-Herrera, 42, broke out of Southern Desert Correctional Center on Friday where he was held since getting convicted for the 2007 murder of a man at the Luxor.

To force open his cell window, he spilled acid on the area near the window casing, KLAS, a local TV station, reported. He then climbed out through the open window. He left a cardboard dummy in the cell to mislead guards.

He then made his way over a barbed-wire fence, KLAS revealed. Eventually, he fled from Indian Springs, Nev., the location of the prison, and made his way some 45 miles to Las Vegas.

Someone in the area recognized him. His photo and description had been widely disseminated by the media.

Was Heading to Mexico

Officers stopped him after he had bought a bus ticket to Mexico, US Marshal for Nevada Gary Schofield told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

It is believed part of the way he was wearing a black baseball cap, blue shirt, blue shorts, and had with him a blue backpack. He also was carrying a coat he had sewed in a class at the prison, KLAS said.

Duarte-Herrera has been incarcerated since 2010 at the prison after being convicted for the murder of Willebaldo Dorantes Antonio at the Luxor casino. He was sentenced to life in prison without any options for parole.

Even though he escaped on Friday, prison guards only realized Duarte-Herrara was missing as of Tuesday morning. Then, on Tuesday evening, the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) confirmed he escaped from the penitentiary on Friday evening.

News of the escape and the reporting delay infuriated Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak. He wants those responsible to “be held accountable.”

So far, it is unclear if prison guards were lax in guarding him. No word if he had any help in his escape.

On Wednesday, before his capture, federal officials upped the reward for his arrest from $5,000 to $30,000.

Duarte-Herrera is an undocumented immigrant from Nicaragua, the Washington Times reported.

Pipe Bomb Used

In 2010, Duarte-Herrera and a second defendant, Omar Rueda-Denvers, were convicted for the death of Dorantes Antonio. He was killed after a pipe bomb exploded on the Luxor Hotel & Casino’s parking garage roof.

Sign for Nevada's Southern Desert Correctional Center
Sign for Nevada's Southern Desert Correctional Center
Sign for Nevada’s Southern Desert Correctional Center, pictured above. An inmate escaped there on Friday. He was captured on Wednesday. (Image: KSNV)

At the conclusion of their trial, Duarte-Herrera and Rueda-Denvers were found guilty of murder by use of a deadly weapon and attempted murder by use of a deadly weapon.

The bomb was hidden in a coffee cup that was placed on top of the victim’s car, the Las Vegas Sun said. The bomb had a motion-activated trigger that was activated when Dorantes Antonio picked up the cup, authorities revealed. He was unaware the explosive device was inside.

Dorantes Antonio’s right hand was seriously injured from the explosion. A piece of metal also got lodged in his head, the Sun reported. His then-girlfriend, Caren Chali, was standing near the car at the time, but wasn’t hurt in the explosion.

Chali was Rueda-Denvers’ former girlfriend. The two had a daughter together, reports said. Rueda-Denvers was jealous of the new relationship between her and Dorantes Antonio, prosecutors revealed during the trial.

Prosecutors sought the death penalty for the two defendants, but both got life sentences without any chance of parole.

In 2019, a federal judge granted Rueda-Denvers a new trial because of improper court procedures. In a retrial last year, he was convicted of murder, attempted murder, and other charges.

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