Las Vegas Sun

July 29, 2014

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Trio charged in ‘Crazy Train’ suitcase slaying of homeless man will likely be tried in 2016

A trio accused last year of stuffing a homeless man inside his own suitcase and drowning him in a motel bathtub likely won't face trial until 2016 while attorneys wait to review DNA evidence in the death penalty case.

At a hearing Monday morning in Clark County District Court, attorneys representing two of the defendants — Emilio Arenas and Theresa Allen — told Judge Joseph Bonaventure that DNA samples taken from the scene likely won't be fully processed until late this year. They asked to push the trial through at least March 2016 — it is now slated for May 12.

Bonaventure agreed to an extension, though he did not set a new trial date because co-defendant Peyton Hemingway did not attend Monday's hearing and, as a result, could not consent to the change. All three defendants are due back in court for a new trial date hearing on Wednesday.

Arenas, 44, and Hemingway, 37, were indicted in October 2013 in connection with the Aug. 12, 2013, slaying of Carl Simon, 50, at a Budget Suites motel in the 4800 block of Boulder Highway. Allen, 46, was arrested a month later.

According to a Metro Police report, the three brutally beat Simon for hours because they thought he stole money intended for drugs. They whipped him with a belt, struck him over the head with a liquor bottle and stabbed him, according to the report. Hemingway reportedly told police that when Simon wouldn't die, Allen stripped him naked and then Arenas put him in a black suitcase filled with water to drown him.

Prosecutors said the group played Ozzy Osbourne's “Crazy Train” on a cellphone during Simon's final moments.

Simon's body was found inside a Dumpster in the eastern Las Vegas Valley, the report said. His naked body was in the fetal position, bound at the feet with electrical tape. A ring inscribed with the word “peace” was on his pinky finger.

All three suspects face charges that include murder, first-degree kidnapping and robbery with the use of a deadly weapon. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Arenas.

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