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April 16, 2014

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Coroner ID’s body as that of 10-year-old Jade Morris

Image

Leila Navidi

Claudette Flanagan-Jones, from left, Jade Morris’ grandmother, Tejuana Reeves-Morris, Jade’s mother, and Andres Mack, Jade’s grandfather, watch as Brenda Stokes appears in Las Vegas Justice Court for a hearing Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, at the Regional Justice Center.

Updated Friday, Dec. 28, 2012 | 6:15 p.m.

Emotional day in court involving woman who allegedly killed 10-year-old girl

KSNV reports that Brenda Stokes also faces murder and kidnapping charges for her alleged involvement in kidnapping and killing 10-year-old Jade Morris, Dec. 28.

Jade Morris

Jade Morris

Brenda Jean Stokes

Brenda Jean Stokes

The Clark County Coroner’s Office has identified the body found Thursday in North Las Vegas as missing 10-year-old girl Jade Morris.

In a news release Friday afternoon, Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin said Morris, who had been missing since Dec. 21, died from multiple stab and incised wounds. Clark County Coroner Michael Murphy said the identification was done using facial recognition, clothing and dental records. A DNA analysis is pending, said Murphy, who ruled the girl's death as a homicide.

Morris was last seen around 5 p.m. Dec. 21 when she left her house with 50-year-old Brenda Stokes, a former acquaintance of the girl’s father. Later Friday, Stokes was arrested for an attack on a co-worker at the Bellagio casino. Morris was not with Stokes when she was arrested for slashing the face of blackjack dealer Joyce Rhone, who survived the attack.

On Thursday afternoon, a man walking his dog in an unfinished housing development near North Fifth Street and Dorell Lane in North Las Vegas wandered upon Morris’ body.

Stokes has been charged with burglary, battery with a deadly weapon and mayhem with a deadly weapon related to the attack at the Bellagio and remains in the Clark County Detention Center with bail set at $600,000.

After authorities said they would move deliberately in filing charges in Morris’ death, the Clark County Detention Center inmate database indicated that Stokes was rebooked Friday night with additional charges. Stokes was charged with first-degree murder with a deadly weapon and first-degree kidnapping with a deadly weapon.

"What we now have is confirmation that we are investigating a homicide,” said Officer Bill Cassell, Metro Police spokesman.

A spokeswoman from District Attorney Steve Wolfson’s office had said that any charges in the homicide would not be filed until after police have completed their paperwork on the case.

In a news conference Thursday after the discovery of the body, Metro Capt. Chris Jones said Stokes was not being cooperative with police regarding Morris’ disappearance.

Family members said it was not unusual for Stokes and Morris to be together.

Phil Tucker, Morris’ paternal grandfather, said Morris knew Stokes and loved her. They often went shopping together, Tucker said.

“That’s probably the saddest part,” he said.

Tucker said Stokes and Rhone, the victim in the attack at the Bellagio, were “best friends” who socialized outside of work, including a birthday party for Stokes in November.

But, Tucker said, Stokes “thought my son and Joyce (Rhone) were too friendly at the birthday party.”

A police report on Stokes' arrest in the Bellagio case noted Stokes had been struggling with anxiety the week of the attack.

Stokes, who reported that she periodically takes Xanax for anxiety, told police she had gone to her doctor that week and said she felt like she needed to be admitted to the hospital because she might hurt someone, the report said.

During a court hearing Friday morning, chief deputy district attorney Robert Daskas said police found blood on and inside the car Stokes drove to pick up Morris. Police also recovered bloody clothes from inside Stokes’ apartment unit, Daskas said.

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  1. So, we know she did it. Every courthouse in the US had, at one time, a hanging tree out front. Time to bring it back, and let'em swing. This person is a waste of good food, water, and oxygen. Give her a trial, followed by a swift hanging.

  2. "So, we know she did it."

    bersuchb -- no "we" don't. Neither do you.

    Who cares about Newtown now?? We have little girls being murdered right here, and not with guns. This little girl died horribly, slashed to death. Anybody remember that family killed in their own home this year, except for the dad and the boy, by a rampaging young man armed with only a hammer? No gun laws would have prevented either murder.

    What else can be expected from a nation of men who allow their daughters to be fondled and their elderly mothers forced to have their diapers inspected in the name of keeping us "safe"?

    "Makes you feel ashamed to live in a land where justice is a game." -- Bob Dylan "Hurricane"

  3. Condolences to the family. We are all outraged. We all want justice. But not the kind of justice "bersuchb" subscribes to. We are a State and Nation of laws. Justice will take its course.

  4. What a sad day for the family of Jade Morris, and what a sad day for the valley at large. The valley has been prematurely denied the full contributions of someone who had many possibilities, with new unrealized ideas, and foreseen answers to contribute.

    This isn't an opportunity to politicize this tragedy for the sake of glorifying a point. It is a time for justice and sorrow, may God help all the family and friends of Jade Morris see through, so this pain can subside yet never healing.

    Those of you folks using these catastrophes for political gain are no better than a terrorist.

  5. I will pray for her and her family.