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Authorities find suspect in 2012 slaying of high school senior already locked up in jail

Murder charge filed in January 2012 slaying at party in N.E. valley

Updated Wednesday, May 15, 2013 | 4:25 p.m.

Demetrius Black

Demetrius Black

A 20-year-old man who has been in Clark County custody for more than a year on robbery-related offenses was charged Wednesday morning with murder in the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Betty Jean Pinkney.

Demetrius M. Black has been charged in the slaying of Pinkney, a Desert Pines High School senior, who was shot to death Jan. 15, 2012, at a party in the northeast Las Vegas Valley.

Pinkney was among more than 80 people at the party in the 4200 block of Tattersall Place, which is near Alexander Road and Lamb Boulevard.

Police said that during the party an argument began inside the residence and continued outside, where shots were fired by one or more people. Bullets entered the two-story home, striking and killing Pinkney and injuring Karen Sinatra, 32, who police say were not the intended victims.

Although police interviewed many of those at the party, including Black, they did not have enough evidence to file charges against him initially.

According to an updated police report released Wednesday, officers conducted an interview last September with one of the people at the party who said Black fired his weapon, then later sold the gun.

In April, detectives were able to link Black to the case through Facebook conversations he had with others that indicated he had a Glock 17 for sale on Jan. 16, which was the same kind of handgun used in the shooting on Jan. 15.

Black is expected to have a 48-hour hearing at 9:30 a.m. Thursday on charges of open murder with a deadly weapon, attempted murder with a deadly weapon and 12 counts of discharging a gun into a occupied structure.

Jail records show Black has been in custody in the Clark County Detention Center since March 2012 on several other robbery and burglary charges unrelated to the shootings.

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