Las Vegas Sun

November 22, 2014

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The Sun’s July Nine: A look at some of last month’s notorious crimes

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Metro Police, Henderson Police, Nevada Gaming Control Board

The Sun’s July Nine

From deadly fights and deadly home invasions to a hit on a Las Vegas Strip casino, crimes in July kept police hopping throughout the Las Vegas Valley. Here’s a look at some of the headline-grabbing crimes of the month:

    • Scott Alan Carmitchel

      Metro Police say Scott Alan Carmitchel, 34, an absconded parolee from Kansas, robbed a casino cashier of $43,500 at gunpoint July 25, then used at least part of the proceeds for partying with prostitutes at the Hard Rock Hotel.

      Carmitchel was arrested July 26 after a tourist from Texas told police he became suspicious after he was approached and paid $300 to rent the man a $405 room at the Hard Rock Hotel.

      Police detained four prostitutes who left the room, two carrying wads of cash with Bellagio labels. The women told police the man was acting erratic, paranoid and delusional, according to a police report.

      Corrections officials had to forcibly hold Carmitchel’s head steady for the mug shot because he "has refused to cooperate in any way with the investigation and was combative with officers throughout the booking process," Officer Larry Hadfield said in a statement. Police originally listed the suspect as a “John Doe.”

      Carmitchel was on parole from Kansas for a 2013 conviction for making a criminal threat. He also was convicted in 1998 and served time for battery against a law officer and robbery. The Kansas Department of Corrections listed Carmitchel as "absconded" as of May 29.

      He faces both state and federal charges related to the Bellagio robbery and an unrelated robbery June 22 at a City National Bank in South Las Vegas.

    • Natasha Galenn Jackson

      A harrowing series of events that began July 29 on a valley freeway before making its way into a southeast Las Vegas neighborhood ended with two people dead, two people injured and 35-year-old Natasha Galenn Jackson facing counts including murder and kidnapping.

      The incident began about 6:30 a.m. when police allege Cody Winters, 27, and Jackson robbed a freeway service worker at gunpoint on U.S. 95 and forced him to drive them to the area of Tropicana Avenue and Sandhill Road.

      Jackson told homicide detectives that the two were looking to steal a car when they knocked on the door of a house under the pretense of needing to use the telephone, according to a Metro arrest report.

      Once inside, Winters pulled a gun and the homeowner, Richard Ramos, tried to take it away, police said. During the struggle Winters shot Ramos and Jackson stabbed Ramos’ wife, Julie, with a screwdriver, the arrest report said.

      Richard Ramos died at a hospital and his wife suffered critical injuries.

      Winters and Jackson then broke into a nearby abandoned house, where Jackson was taken into custody, police said. Winters, meanwhile, broke into another house and shot a woman inside, before he came out and was shot by officers, police said.

      Jackson, who is jailed in the Clark County Detention Center on $400,000 bail, is due in Las Vegas Township Justice Court for a status check Thursday.

    • Nikholeus "Niko" Cleland

      Nikholeus "Niko" Cleland, 17, is charged as an adult in a July 22 incident in which police say he forced a woman at gunpoint to pull over her car at a northwest valley intersection, then sexually assaulted her and drove off in her vehicle.

      Cleland is charged in Las Vegas Township Justice Court with nine counts, including sexual assault, robbery, kidnapping and battery.

      Police say the crimes occurred in the early morning hours of July 22 at Durango Drive and the 215 Beltway.

      Cleland surrendered to detectives a week after the incident.

      This week, Judge Conrad Hafen reset Cleland’s bail at $800,000 and scheduled his preliminary hearing in Las Vegas Township Justice Court for Sept. 15.

    • Ixtoc Renteria-Bentancourt

      The man had a rosary tattooed on his hand, but allegations against him by Metro Police imply he was more devoted to soliciting prostitutes and then sexually assaulting them under duress.

      Ixtoc Renteria-Bentancourt, 27, was taken into custody July 19 and now is charged with kidnapping, attempted sexual assault and several counts of sexual assault.

      On July 13, a woman reported she was raped behind a Macy's near Spring Mountain Road and Arville Street. The attacker had solicited sex from the woman, who was a prostitute. Instead of paying her, the attacker threatened the woman with a knife and forced her to have sex, according to a Metro Police report.

      An analysis of nearby surveillance cameras led police to identify the suspect's car, which had been described by previous victims who reported being attacked under similar circumstances. Police found that in most cases, the attacker would negotiate a price for sex with the victim. After persuading the victim to get into his car, the attacker would produce a knife and force them to have sex, the report said.

      One of those victims gave police the license tag from her attacker’s car. The information led police to Renteria-Bentancourt.

      Police searched Renteria-Bentancourt's Facebook page to find him standing next to the white Ford Focus many of them had described. They also noted they saw a faded rosary tattoo, which the most recent victim claimed to have seen on Renteria-Bentancourt's hand, the report said.

      Police said Renteria-Bentancourt changed his story many times during interrogation, but he admitted to committing rape, the report said, noting he claimed to have targeted five women.

      Renteria-Bentancourt remains in the Clark County Detention Center, with bail set at $375,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 4 in Las Vegas Township Justice Court.

    • Timothy Stall

      The fight, police say, ended with a scream after a man threw pieces of broken glass at his roommate.

      Unknown to Timothy Stall, 22, who left the downtown apartment after the fight, the glass he threw caused his roommate, Donald Dail, to begin bleeding profusely — enough so that by the time Dail was taken to University Medical Center, he died from his injuries.

      In an interview with police, Stall gave his version of what happened, according to a Metro arrest report: He and Dail had been arguing the morning of July 22 at their apartment in the 200 block of North Ninth Street, between Ogden and Stewart avenues. As Stall was leaving, Dail called him back to get his debit card. Dail began to attack Stall with a cane, prompting Stall to fight back.

      Surveillance video showed Stall punching Dail before breaking out the glass to a fire extinguisher case in the apartment’s hallway and throwing the broken pieces into their apartment, the Metro report said.

      Though he heard Dail scream, Stall told police he left the apartment without checking on him, police said.

      Stall, who told police he suffered from PTSD, was booked into the Clark County Detention Center without bail. His preliminary hearing in Las Vegas Township Justice Court is scheduled for Aug. 28.

    • Jubreal Chahine

      Outstanding warrants listed 21 charges — mostly related to cheating at gambling — against 40-year-old Jubreal Chahine. The notoriety had earned him a spot on the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s most-wanted list.

      But on July 23, Chahine walked into the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pa., and applied under his real name for a casino player’s card. A Sands employee alerted police, who took him into custody.

      "He's kind of a repeat offender," said Karl Bennison, chief of enforcement for the Nevada Gaming Control Board. "That's why he ranks so high."

      Chahine has been arrested in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2003, mostly for cheating techniques including pinch-pressing and past-posting, Bennison said. The techniques involve changing a wager after it has already been placed. More arrests came in 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2013.

      Chahine’s targets were "a laundry list" of Strip casinos. "He doesn't seem to have a favorite," Bennison said.

    • Miquan Burton

      The drive-by shooting wasn’t the kind of fireworks North Las Vegas Police were expecting on the night of July 3.

      Shots rang out of a vehicle into a group of people standing at Via Maria Court and Rancho Del Norte Drive. Two people were hit: a 14-year-old girl and 18-year-old Tyrell Melton. The girl was able to run home, but Melton was pronounced dead

      Nearly two weeks later, on the morning of July 16, another 18-year-old, Miquan Burton, was placed under arrest and charged with murder, attempted murder, discharging a firearm into an occupied structure and discharging a firearm from a vehicle.

      Police believe Burton fired from the moving vehicle.

      He remains incarcerated in the Clark County Detention Center on $1 million bond and is due in North Las Vegas Township Justice Court for an Aug. 28 appearance.

    • Christopher Short and Trent Henrickson

      The 43-year-old man answering a Craigslist ad was intending to meet a man July 8 at Trail Canyon Park in Henderson. Instead Henderson Police say, he encountered three: Christopher Short, 20, Trent Henrickson, 18, and a 16-year-old male.

      The four walked to a nearby vacant house. There, police say, the three younger men demanded the 43-year-old’s property. When the older man did not comply, police said, he was tied up and beaten by the suspects, who made off with his wallet, cellphone and car.

      The victim was able to free himself and walked to the Henderson Chevrolet car dealership nearby on Gibson Road, where he called police.

      Officers used GPS technology to locate the car, parked near Stephanie Street and Wigwam Parkway, and set up surveillance. A short time later, they said, Short and the 16-year-old suspect returned to the vehicle and were arrested. Henrickson was arrested two days later.

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