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April 27, 2015

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Man accused in fatal Las Vegas Strip walkway stabbing appears in court

Stabbing on the Strip

KSNV coverage of vigil held on Strip for stabbing victim, June 28, 2011.

Click to enlarge photo

Victor M. Quijano

Victor Quijano, accused of using a stiletto knife to fatally stab one man and injure another early Saturday on a pedestrian walkway above the Las Vegas Strip, claims he was acting in self defense.

That's what a public defender said outside a courtroom following Quijano's short, but emotionally charged arraignment Wednesday morning in Las Vegas Justice Court.

Several friends and family members of the victim, Andres Armando Elena, 21, including a man who had "RIP Andy M" shaved onto the back of his head, watched the court proceeding this morning.

One woman began weeping loudly at the mention of Elena's name and another got up and left, shaking her head, as Justice of the Peace Ann Zimmerman read the charges against Quijano, 25.

Those charges are murder with the use of a deadly weapon and attempted murder with the use of a deadly weapon in connection with Elena's death.

Quijano is also charged with a third felony count, battery with the use of a deadly weapon resulting in substantial bodily harm, for allegedly stabbing a second man, Steven Velasquez, 22.

The judge set Quijano's next court appearance for 8 a.m. Friday, when an attorney will be named to represent him.

Deputy Public Defender Timothy O'Brien told the judge that the public defender's office had represented Elena eight times.

O'Brien said he would let the judge know by Friday whether there were any conflicts of interest in the public defender's office concerning the case and whether Quijano would decide to go with an outside attorney.

According to a police report, the incident allegedly began when Quijano and his friends had a run-in with another group of people at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.

A man, later identified as Velasquez, allegedly said something about a female in Quijano's group, prompting a fight in the mall area, according to the arrest report. Security diffused the fight by ordering Velasquez's group to leave.

Later that morning, however, Quijano and his friends encountered Velasquez's group on the walkway between MGM Grand and New York-New York, the report alleges.

Another fight ensued. Quijano told detectives he pulled out his black stiletto knife, which has a four- to five-inch blade, after Velasquez allegedly hit his friend with a glass bottle, according to the arrest report. The friend and Quijano both fell to the ground, the report said.

"As Quiano got to his feet he pulled the knife out of his pocket. Quijano claims Velasquez still had part of the broken bottle in his hand, swinging it back and forth like a weapon," the report said.

When Velasquez was focused more on Quijano's male friend and on his female friend, "Quijano said he stabbed Velasquez in the side. Quijano said he stabbed Velasquez in self defense," the report said.

The fight continued.

"Quijano said he thinks he also stabbed another guy that was in front of him," the report said. "Quijano did not see a weapon on the second subject he stabbed who detectives believe was Andres Elena. Elena was stabbed once in the left chest. Quijano said he stabbed Elena to get him back."

Detectives found a black stiletto knife in the bushes near New York-New York, about 20 to 30 yards from where police apprehended Quijano and his friend, Angel Magana.

Witnesses identified Quijano as the suspect seen with the knife during the fight, who was wearing an Oakland Raiders football jersey. Police said Quijano was carrying an Oakland Raiders jersey when stopped by officers.

Elena and Velasquez were transported to University Medical Center's trauma unit, where Elena died. Velasquez's injuries were not considered life-threatening, police said.

— Sun reporter Jackie Valley contributed to this report.

CORRECTION: This story originally reported that Deputy Public Defender Timothy O'Brien said his office had represented Quijano eight times, but the story has been corrected to say Elena was represented eight times. | (June 29, 2011)

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  1. "The public defender's office had already represented Quijano eight other times." Hmmm, sounds like an Obama "Dream Act Candidate." What's really amazes me is, this scum bag, after 8 other run ins with the law, he was still on the streets and still in the country... With a total of 9 run ins with the law, with the last being for "Murder" I say lock him up for life, then deport his dead body back to Mexico...

  2. Actually Jack, this person doesn't sound like a DREAM Act candidate at all; perhaps you should do some research or at least read the Wikipedia page before making such an ignorant statement: "This bill would provide conditional permanent residency to certain illegal alien students who graduate from US high schools, who are of good moral character, arrived in the U.S. legally or illegally as minors, and have been in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the bill's enactment. If they were to complete two years in the military or two years at a four year institution of higher learning, the students would obtain temporary residency for a six year period."

    Also, did I miss where the article mentions his citizenship, or are you just assuming he is here illegally? Because we know US citizens NEVER commit crimes.

  3. Love the you assume Stephannie. Just where did I say he was an "Illegal Alien?" Because I said "Deport?" Perhaps you're the "Ignorant" one Steph. Go look up the meaning of "Deport." Go ahead, I'll wait....

    I'll save ya the time as you may not have the talent needed to research the word "Deport."

    deport [dpt]
    vb (tr)
    1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) to remove (an alien) forcibly from a country; expel
    2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) to carry (an inhabitant) forcibly away from his homeland; transport; exile; banish
    3. to conduct, hold, or behave (oneself) in a specified manner.

    See number 2 Steph. And as for the dream act comment, pure sarcasm... If you couldn't understand that by reading it.... then as you called me... you're IGNORANT.

    I probably understand the Dream Act way better than you, I've actually read the entire bill.... not some edited version on "Wiki:

  4. I assume that you assume he is an illegal alien because no matter how much you may try and use a dictionary to twist your own words, when you say "deport his dead body back to Mexico" the meaning of that is that a person is from the country you want to "deport" them "back to." In addition, the DREAM act that you refer to is not intended for those who are already US citizens, so how do either of your comments make any sense at all given your backtracking? They don't.

    @TomD1228 I agree, lock him up. There's plenty of fun and non-violent things to do on the Strip.

  5. brinana, I do agree that everyone has a right to trial before being presumed guilty. I should have said "if convicted" he should be locked up, and I apologize for misspeaking.

    However, you use the plural "racist pigs" and really, there is only one person in the comments to whom that could apply. Most of the commentators are as disgusted with him as you are.

  6. 'They just came here for the jobs' PITOOEY!

  7. It is a sad and uninformed world when you rely on Wiki for your misinformation. That has to be the worst site on the web to base your research on. This problem is not going away until our country gets serious about securing the border between North America and South secure, I mean manned by U.S. Soldiers, 20,000 or so should be able to do the job...Not a fan of Obama's DREAM Act...and I sincerly hope that is all it will ever be......a DREAM. And given the high number of illegal aliens in Las is not unrealistic to make that assumption either. Given what we know about this crime...this guy is most assuredly a gang banger...most of which are illegal.