Mona Shield Payne/Special to the Sun
Friday, Feb. 12, 2010 | 9:21 a.m.
A second person has been arrested in connection with a violent home invasion in southwest Las Vegas.
Richard Freeman, 18, was booked Thursday night on felony counts of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, robbery and burglary, all with a deadly weapon, according to jail records.
He is accused of being involved with 38-year-old Gregory Hover, a process server who worked for a legal firm serving civil papers. Hoover is facing multiple felony counts in connection with an attack in the early morning hours of Jan. 25 that left Julio Romero, 64, dead and his wife, Roberta Romero, seriously wounded.
Hover, who was arrested Feb. 6, appeared in Las Vegas Justice Court on Friday morning with bandages on his neck and arms. He was arraigned on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping, each count with a deadly weapon; two counts of robbery with use of a deadly weapon; two counts of burglary, with one burglary count enhanced with use of a deadly weapon; attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon; and one count of coercion with use of a deadly weapon, in connection with the attack on the couple.
Hover was set to appear for arraignment Wednesday but the hearing was delayed after Hover attempted suicide while incarcerated at the Clark County Detention Center. He will next appear in front of Justice of the Peace Joseph Sciscento on Tuesday, alongside Freeman, who will be named as a codefendant in the case. Prosecutors said they intend to file formal charges against Freeman at that time.
Both men are being held without bail, but attorneys will address bail at a hearing next Friday.
Hover is accused of returning to the Romeros' home, near the intersection of Jones Boulevard and Russell Road, in the early morning hours of Jan. 25, a few hours after he had been there in an attempt to locate another man who Hover said owed $10,000 in a civil matter.
When Hover returned to the home, he allegedly shot Julio Romero dead before robbing Roberta Romero and then ushering her into a closet, where he shot her in the face. She survived and called 911 after the intruder left her home.
Roberta Romera remains hospitalized and her condition is touch-and-go, prosecutors said today.
Police identified Hover through civil records for the action against the man he told the Romeros he was looking for. Roberta Romero was able to identify him from a photo lineup.
Hover was interviewed last Friday and admitted to police he was at the Romero residence on Jan. 24, but said he left and never returned. The interview ended when Hover requested to speak with an attorney, police said.
A report released detailing Hover’s arrest indicates a man named Richard Freeman was with him the night the Romeros were attacked. Freeman reportedly told police he had been in Hover’s car several blocks away and heard muffled gunshots come from the area of the Romeros’ home.
Police later learned that Roberta Romero’s ATM card had been used at a convenience store shortly after the shootings and obtained surveillance video images of the person who withdrew cash. Investigators later identified the man in the tape as Freeman.
Investigators said cell phone records link Hover and Freeman as making calls to one another at the time of the shooting and at the time the man exited the convenience store where Roberta Romero’s card was used.
Freeman reportedly told investigators he pawned several items allegedly taken from the Romeros' home.
When interviewed by police, Freeman said that shortly after leaving the Romero residence, Hover told him he had bound the man of the house with duct tape and had shot the woman in the face after he made her give him money.
Hover then gave Freeman a bag of jewelry to pawn, Freeman told police. He also told investigators he had never gone into the home and did not participate in the shooting of either victim.
A preliminary hearing in the case was set for Feb. 26.