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Committee to decide whether to pursue death penalty in Drai’s nightclub shooting


Steve Marcus

Benjamin Frazier, 41, appears in court at the Regional Justice Center Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013. Frazier is accused of shooting two security guards and a patron outside the Drai’s after-hours club in Bally’s on Oct. 21, 2013.

Updated Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013 | 9:15 a.m.

Drai’s Shooting Suspect in Court

Benjamin Frazier, 41, speaks to Judge Cynthia Cruz during a court appearance at the Regional Justice Center Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013. Attorney Bob Beckett listens at left. Frazier is accused of shooting two security guards and a patron outside the Drai's after-hours club in Bally's on Oct. 21, 2013. Launch slideshow »

One Dead in Shooting at Bally’s

The Bally's marquee sign advertises Drai's, a nightclub inside Bally's, Monday, Oct. 21, 2013. An early morning shooting left one person dead and two wounded in Drai's Monday. A suspect is in custody, police said. Launch slideshow »

Prosecutors are weighing whether to seek the death penalty in the case of a man accused of gunning down a patron at a popular Las Vegas Strip nightclub and wounding two security guards.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Robert Daskas said that after a preliminary hearing, the case would be presented to a death penalty committee, which decides whether to seek capital punishment.

Benjamin Frazier, 41, is charged with one count of murder with the use of a deadly weapon, two counts of attempted murder with the use of a deadly weapon and one count of carrying a concealed firearm or other deadly weapon.

He made his first court appearance this morning, and Las Vegas Township Judge Cynthia Cruz set a preliminary hearing for 9:30 a.m. Dec. 13.

Frazier opened fire early Oct. 21 after a dispute over a $30 cover charge to the Drai’s After Hours nightclub inside Bally’s, according to a Metro Police arrest report.

He shot two security guards before a patron noticed the attack and jumped into the fray, according to police.

Kenneth Dion Brown, 40, was fatally shot in an attempt to wrestle the gunman to the ground, according the police report. The report indicates that Brown tried to subdue the gunman after he appeared to point his revolver toward customers.

Former Nye County District Attorney Bob Beckett is representing Frazier. Beckett is Frazier’s cousin, though, Beckett said, Frazier always called him his uncle.

“You can never imagine this kind of thing happening in your wildest dreams,” Beckett said.

Beckett said Frazier doesn’t remember anything about the incident, and it is unclear if his memory loss is related to drinking or a head injury he suffered while being subdued after the shooting.

“He’s very saddened by what he is being told,” Beckett said, noting that Frazier’s wife and two young children are also distraught.

If the prosecution decides to seek the death penalty, Beckett said, he is confident he can handle the case.

Beckett said he has ample experience trying capital cases. Beckett said he will likely enlist the help of a second attorney to make sure he stays objective and does what is best for Frazier.

Frazier remains in Clark County Detention Center without bail.

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