A man sentenced to life in prison for the 2007 fatal bombing at a Las Vegas Strip casino has somehow escaped from custody. Police were searching for him on Tuesday.
The inmate, Porfirio Duarte-Herrera, 42, was incarcerated since 2010 at the Southern Desert Correctional Center in Indian Springs, Nev. It is largely a medium security prison.
Duarte-Herrera was determined to be missing as of 7 a.m. Tuesday during a morning check by guards, according to the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC). By 8 a.m., corrections staff began procedures to search for the missing man.
Then at 1 p.m. Tuesday, the NDOC announced the escape in a statement. No details were released how the inmate left the secure facility.
In the statement, officials revealed Duarte-Herrera is 5-feet, 4-inches tall, weighs 135 pounds, has brown eyes and brown hair.
Both the US Marshal’s Service and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department were on the watch for the missing inmate, according to news reports. Indian Springs is located about 45 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
Pipe Bomb Plot
In 2009, Duarte-Herrera and a second defendant, Omar Rueda-Denvers, were convicted for the death of the victim. He was Willebaldo Dorantes Antonio. He was killed after a pipe bomb exploded on the Luxor Hotel & Casino’s parking garage roof.
At the conclusion of that trial, Duarte-Herrera and Rueda-Denvers were both convicted of murder with use of a deadly weapon and attempted murder with 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 which went into effect 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. He worked at a Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs eatery at the casino and the explosion took place after his shift ended, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Dorantes Antonio’s then-girlfriend, Caren Chali, was not hurt in the explosion. She was near the car at the time.
Chali was Rueda-Denvers’ former girlfriend. The two had a daughter together, reports said.
Jealous Over Her New Lover
Rueda-Denvers was jealous of the new relationship between her and Dorantes Antonio, prosecutors revealed during the trial.
Initially, prosecutors tried to get 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. But in a retrial last year, he was convicted of murder, attempted murder, possession of an explosive or incendiary device, and transportation or receipt of explosives
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