Las Vegas Sun

January 19, 2018

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Suspect in security guard’s death is released — for now

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Blake Valbracht

The man arrested in connection to the death of a security guard in downtown Las Vegas has been released, but could still face murder charges.

Blake Valbracht, 29, was booked into Clark County Detention Center on one count of second-degree murder, but was released Friday because the county District Attorney’s Office had yet to file a complaint.

The DA’s Office is still waiting to see if the death will be ruled a homicide. Without the cause of death the office can’t file charges, said Tess Driver, district attorney spokeswoman.

An autopsy report on Donald Harris, 59, is still pending a toxicology screening, which could take six to eight weeks, according to a spokeswoman at the Clark County Coroner’s Office.

Harris became unresponsive after a fight with another man on July 5 in the 800 block of Bridger Avenue, according to Metro Police officials. Valbracht surrendered to officers at the scene and was held without bail until he was released Friday.

Cases involving lab work, especially in recent years, can be held up because of slow turnaround times, Assistant Public Defender Daren Richards said.

With a serious charge like murder, the prosecution is going to want to make sure it has all of its ducks in a row, he said.

Because the case is ongoing, and pending further evidence, the District Attorney’s Office and Metro Police refused to comment on the case.

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