Friday, Aug. 20, 2004 | 10:53 a.m.
The preliminary hearing for a 37-year-old man accused in the fatal beating of a retired Air Force major must start again, Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Nancy Oesterle ruled this morning.
Raymond Garrett is accused of killing 51-year-old Michael Born. Garrett is also charged with two counts of battery, five counts of robbery and one count of conspiracy to murder.
Oesterle's ruling about starting over was the result of Las Vegas Justice of Peace Douglas Smith's decision on Tuesday to recuse himself from Garrett's case, which was two days into the preliminary hearing.
Although Smith had already seen Raymond Garrett at his arraignment and at the start of the preliminary hearing on July 19, Smith announced Tuesday that he now remembered that he prosecuted Garrett for a prior burglary arrest. While serving as a deputy district attorney, Smith represented the prosecution at Garrett's 1991 sentencing in the prior case and represented the state when Garrett entered his guilty plea.
Oesterle said she knew nothing about Garrett's case and it was her "understanding that both attorneys want to start the preliminary hearing over again."
Garrett's new preliminary hearing was scheduled for Oct. 7.