Bail hearing set for suspects accused of killing Waipahu woman in Las Vegas

Hawaii Public Radio
Bail hearing set for suspects accused of killing Waipahu woman in Las Vegas
Super Slots

LAS VEGAS — A Las Vegas judge said Tuesday she’ll decide next week whether to grant bail to two men facing felony murder charges in the shooting deaths of two people during what police said were a series of New Year's Eve robberies.

Jesani Carter, 20, and Jordan Ruby, 18, are charged with murder, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery in the fatal shooting of a Hawaiʻi woman during a purse-snatching in a shopping mall parking garage and the killing of a man in his 50s in a hotel-casino parking area.

Justice of the Peace Harmony Letizia’s decision to schedule a bail hearing Jan. 10 gives prosecutors time to upgrade those charges, which could lead to the death penalty.

Carter's attorney, Kristina Wildeveld, declined to comment after his brief court appearance. Edward Kane, a deputy public defender representing Ruby, did not immediately respond to messages. Carter and Ruby are being held at the Clark County Detention Center pending their court appearance next week.

The Clark County coroner said Clarice Yamaguchi, 66, of Waipahu, Hawaiʻi, died Friday at University Medical Center in Las Vegas of a gunshot to the neck after an attack at the Fashion Show mall. Her death was ruled a homicide.

Yamaguchi and her husband were visiting Las Vegas for the Christmas and New Year holidays when she was fatally wounded by a single gunshot fired while her husband struggled with her assailant in the Fashion Show parking area, according to a police report.

About five hours later, a man was shot and killed in the Palace Station hotel-casino parking area. He has not been publicly identified.

Police said a witness identified Ruby as the shooter in Yamaguchi's death. Police said Ruby had injuries consistent with being hit with a car door by Yamaguchi's husband as he got into a vehicle driven by another man.

A witness identified Carter as the getaway driver, police said.

Police have said the two men are also believed to be responsible for at least one other shooting during an attempted robbery of a casino employee in the Sahara Las Vegas parking garage. That man was not hit by gunfire.

Carter, in a jail interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, said he was wrongly arrested. He said he was from California, but his hometown was not specified. Ruby declined an interview request, the newspaper said.

Carter noted that he was arrested without incident after he parked a vehicle and went into Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.

“How stupid do you think anyone would be — me — to rob someone, three people robbed, killed, then walk the casino like a regular person?” he told the Review-Journal.