Las Vegas Sun

October 23, 2017

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New details emerge in slaying of Hooters casino waitress


Mona Shield Payne / Special to the Sun

Richard Freeman, 18, is escorted into the courtroom for his bail hearing before Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Joseph Sciscento on Friday, Feb. 19, 2010, at the Regional Justice Center.

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Gregory Hover, 38, appears before Justice of the Peace Joseph Sciscento during his bail hearing Friday, Feb. 19, 2010, at the Regional Justice Center.

Click to enlarge photo

Metro Police found 21-year-old Prisma Contreras' body in an abandoned vehicle near U.S. 95 and Nelson's Landing Road south of Boulder City Jan. 15.

Gregory Hover - arraignment (2-12-10)

Bandaged after a failed suicide attempt, Gregory Hover, center, waits to be called by Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Joseph Sciscento during an arraignment hearing Friday, Feb. 12, 2010, at the Regional Justice Center.   Hover is facing multiple felony counts including murder, kidnapping and robbery in connection with the Jan. 25 violent home invasion of Julio and Roberta Romero. Launch slideshow »

A process server charged in the slaying of a Hooters casino waitress reportedly admitted the killing to his alleged accomplice’s girlfriend, a Metro Police report states.

“Yeah, I killed her,” Gregory Hover, 38, said when the girlfriend asked him about last month’s slaying of 21-year-old Prisma Contreras after seeing a television news story, the police report alleges.

Hover and 18-year-old Richard Freeman face 12 felony charges stemming from the kidnapping, sexual assault and slaying of Contreras. They also face numerous felony counts in connection with a violent home invasion that took place 11 days later.

According to the Metro Police arrest report released Friday, detectives interviewed Freeman’s girlfriend on Feb. 9.

She reportedly told them that a week earlier, Freeman and Hover had been at her apartment when the Contreras case was being featured on the TV news. Freeman made a comment regarding the story, saying Hover had done something wrong.

The girlfriend then asked Hover if he had committed the murder and he admitted to it, she told police.

At a hearing Friday in Las Vegas Justice Court, both men were denied bail on charges stemming from the Romero slaying. They are set to be arraigned Tuesday on charges in the Contreras case.

Contreras’ family reported her missing on Jan. 14 after she failed to return home from work at the Mad Onion restaurant at Hooters. Boulder City Police officers found her blue 2006 Jeep Liberty with Nebraska license plates the next day.

According to the police report, the vehicle smelled strongly of gasoline and had been burned. Contreras’ body, dressed in a Mad Onion uniform with a name tag that said “Prisma,” was found in the backseat.

When the Clark County coroner’s office conducted the autopsy on Contreras’ body, investigators noted marks on her neck consistent with ligature as well as numerous stab wounds to her throat, back, side and chest. Police said the coroner’s office determined Contreras’ death was the result of multiple stab wounds, incised wounds and strangulation. Her death was ruled a homicide.

According to the police report, on Feb. 5, investigators questioned a friend of Freeman’s who alleged that Freeman told her the following details about the crime:

• Freeman had driven Hover to Hooters in Hover’s white car.

• Hover approached the victim’s vehicle with a firearm, ordered Contreras to open the door then got into the vehicle with her.

• Freeman followed Contreras’ SUV, which Hover was driving, in Hover’s white car.

• Freeman then told her in great detail how Hover sexually assaulted and stabbed Contreras with a knife. He said the plan had been to rob Contreras, but she only had $2, which made Hover angry.

• Freeman followed Hover to Nelson’s Landing in Boulder City, where they disposed of the body. Afterward, the two men went to a pawn shop and pawned Contreras’ wedding ring. Police reports say they got $60 for the ring.

During an interview with Freeman the same day, Freeman reportedly said Hover was looking for a prostitute early on Jan. 14 when they came upon Contreras in the Hooter’s parking lot, the police report said.

They drove to a run-down apartment complex, where Hover sexually assaulted and then killed Contreras, Freeman reportedly told police.

They then drove out to the desert and burned Contreras’ vehicle with her body inside, Freeman reportedly said. Afterward, they went to a Wal-Mart, where Freeman bought bleach, poured it on the knife and his coat and disposed of the items, the police report said.

At a news conference on Thursday, police said they looking for the occupants of a red Isuzu Amigo, model years 1995 to 2000, who were in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart at Lake Mead Drive and Boulder Highway in Henderson between 7:20 and 7:40 a.m. on Jan. 14.

Police said the occupants of that vehicle might have information about Hover’s and Freeman’s activities that could help the investigation.

Police said the duo is suspected in a number of other crimes, including a series of armed robberies, in a spree that dates back to at least late 2009.

The Metro Police report alleges that Hover, a process server, shot two people on Jan. 25 at a house he had visited earlier in the day to find a man Hover said owed $10,000 in a civil matter.

Police say Hover shot both of the home’s occupants — Julio Romero, 64, and his wife, Roberta — before stealing a number of valuables.

While Freeman waited in the car, Hover allegedly shot Julio Romero dead, then robbed Roberta Romero at gunpoint before forcing her into a bedroom closet while he raided the dresser drawers.

While Roberta Romero was in the closet, the intruder opened the door and shot her in the face, police said.

Believing Roberta Romero was also dead, he left her home, police said. A few minutes later, she called 911.

She survived but remains hospitalized, authorities said.

Freeman was arrested Feb. 11 and, along with Hover, is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping, each count with a deadly weapon; two counts of robbery with use of a deadly weapon; two counts of burglary, with one burglary count enhanced with use of a deadly weapon; attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon; and one count of coercion with use of a deadly weapon, in connection with the attack on the couple.

Investigators are looking for a white man wearing a yellow jacket with the word “security” on it who was riding a bicycle near the area of the Romeros’ home at the time of the shootings.

Police urged anyone with information about Hover or Freeman to contact investigators at (702) 828-3521.

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