Published Tuesday, June 23, 2009 | 1:59 p.m.
Updated Tuesday, June 23, 2009 | 4:18 p.m.
- Court rules in death penalty case (9-24-2008)
- Prosecutors try to block attorney from working on murder case (5-21-2007)
- Four plead not guilty in slaying (6-28-2005)
Former Palomino Club owner Luis Hidalgo Jr. and his son, Luis Hidalgo III, were sentenced today to life in prison in the May 2005 shooting death of a doorman who was said to have bad-mouthed the North Las Vegas strip club to local cab drivers.
Timothy Hadland's body was found May 19, 2005, on North Shore Road at Lake Mead.
A jury found both Hidalgos guilty in February of second-degree murder for conspiring with others to mastermind and carry out Hadland's murder.
Hadland, a former Palomino doorman, trashed the club to cab drivers and caused it to lose customers, according to police and court documents.
The 58-year-old Hidalgo Jr. was convicted of second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit battery with a deadly weapon or battery to commit bodily harm; Hidalgo III, 27, was found guilty of the same charges, and additionally was found guilty of two counts of solicitation to commit murder.
The men were sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years. Hidalgo III faces an additional two to three years on the solicitation charges, which will run concurrent with the life sentence.
Allana Hadland, Timothy Hadland's daughter, said she was satisfied with the sentence of the older Hidalgo because he likely will not live long enough to be paroled. But she said she doubted Hidalgo III would be rehabilitated in prison and was worried about his possible release back into society.
"He knew what he was doing. He hired someone to murder my father," she said. "There's no becoming a better man after that."
Dominic Gentile, the attorney for Hidalgo Jr., said at the sentencing that there was no evidence to suggest that the intent was murder.
"Nobody wanted him dead in the first place," Gentile said referring to Hadland.
Gentile and John Arrascada, the attorney for Hidalgo III, said they planned to appeal.
During the trial, Hidalgo Jr. admitted giving $5,000 to DeAngelo Carroll, a club employee, after the murder but only because he feared Carroll and not because there was a contract.
On the advice of his attorneys, Hidalgo III did not speak at the sentencing. But his father addressed the court, saying he knew nothing of the plot to murder Hadland.
He said he had only met Hadland a few times and he and his son were "taking the rap."
"A trophy needed to be obtained and the prosecution went and got it," Hidalgo Jr. said. "Is this justice? No."
According to court documents, four men drove out to Lake Mead to meet with Hadland, who was camping there with his girlfriend.
Hadland took his girlfriend's car to meet Carroll to buy marijuana. Earlier that night, Carroll had picked up a friend, Kenneth Counts, and two employees of the club, Jayson Taoipu and Ronta Zone.
On the way to meet Hadland, the four men talked about killing Hadland. Zone said he wanted no part of it, documents show.
The Clark County Coroner's Office said Hadland died from multiple gunshot wounds to his head. His body was found on the side of the road with fliers for the Palomino Club scattered around it.
Although the other men said Counts, 33, pulled the trigger, a jury found him not guilty of murder but convicted him of conspiracy to commit murder. He's serving an 8- to 20-year sentence.
Taoipu pleaded guilty to conspiracy and voluntary manslaughter and received five years of probation for cooperating with prosecutors.
Zone was never charged. Prosecutor Marc DiGiacomo said today Zone was present but took no part in the murder.
Carroll, 28, is awaiting trial. The Nevada Supreme Court allowed his death penalty case to go forward despite a faulty filing by the District Attorney's Office.