Posted on: February 18, 2022, 07:34h.
Last updated on: February 18, 2022, 10:21h.
Two California men arrested for murders on New Year’s Eve and other Las Vegas crimes could face the death penalty if convicted, published reports reveal. The duo both pled not guilty earlier this week to multiple charges.
The defendants, Jordan Ruby, 18, and Jesani Carter, 20, could be sentenced to capital punishment if found guilty during trials, KLAS, a local TV station, reported. Within six months, prosecutors will announce if they will seek the death penalty in the cases, the Las Vegas Sun said.
Ruby and Carter appeared in Clark County District Court on Wednesday via video before Eighth District Court Judge Tierra Jones, the Sun said. They are currently being held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center.
Defendant Claims Innocence
Last month, Carter claimed that Metro cops arrested the “wrong person,” according to an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. 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.
But police allege the defendants murdered Clarice Yamaguchi, 66, of Hawaii, in the parking garage at the Fashion Show Mall. They had attempted to rob the woman and her husband, police said. But she refused to give the bandits any of her money and was shot at the garage. She died at the crime scene.
The duo also allegedly murdered Hyu Sup Um, 60, at the Palace Station parking garage, KLAS said. That victim was also shot, and later died at University Medical Center. The motive in that incident was robbery, police said. But the bandits were unable to steal money from Um.
In a third incident, a casino employee was shot at but not wounded in still another attempted robbery involving the defendants. That incident occurred on Dec. 31 in the Sahara Las Vegas parking garage, police said.
They are also charged in connection with other robberies at the end of December. One of these took place at the Wynn Las Vegas, the Review-Journal reported.
In total, they are charged with 13 counts. These include open murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, attempted robbery, and conspiracy, KLAS said. Their next court appearance is on March 13, 2023.
“There is no question that these two defendants are a danger to the community,” Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Harmony Letizia said in court in January before refusing to set bail, the Review-Journal reported. “They admittedly came to town on the busiest weekend of the year to terrorize the community, to terrorize tourists.”
As of October, 64 men were imprisoned in Nevada after getting sentenced to the death penalty, the Review-Journal said. Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1977, the state has executed 12 convicts, according to the Nevada Coalition Against the Death Penalty.