Suspect in Las Vegas crash charged with murder, child abuse, hit-and-run

LAS VEGAS -- A woman accused of intentionally plowing a car carrying her young daughter through crowds of pedestrians on the Las Vegas Strip was charged Tuesday with murder, child abuse and hit-and-run.

See Full Article

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said he expects to file additional charges against Lakeisha Nicole Holloway, 24, in coming days.

"This is an ongoing investigation with many items of video, physical evidence and many, many witnesses to be interviewed," Wolfson said. "I've personally seen the videos from a variety of angles, and I'm appalled at the callousness of this defendant's conduct and what appears to be an intentional act."

The casino surveillance video has not been made public, and Wolfson said prosecutors don't plan to present it in court Wednesday, when Holloway is scheduled to make her first appearance.

One of Holloway's public defence attorneys, Joseph Abood, said she plans to plead not guilty.

Authorities say Holloway repeatedly swerved Sunday onto the sidewalk packed with tourists in front of the Paris Las Vegas and Planet Hollywood casino-hotels.

The crash killed Jessica Valenzuela, 32, of Buckeye, Arizona, and injured at least 35 people from California, Colorado, Florida, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington state, Mexico and Quebec, Canada. Three were still in critical condition Tuesday and five others remained hospitalized.

"We can all agree this is a shocking and tragic event," Abood said. "We have great sympathy for the family of Jessica Valenzuela and all the other people who were injured."

Holloway is on suicide watch in jail, where she is being held without bail. Abood said he and another public defender, Scott Coffee, were still collecting information and didn't know whether Holloway's mental health will emerge as a defence.

Holloway was charged with the felony child abuse and neglect because police say her 3-year-old daughter was with her in the vehicle. The child wasn't hurt and is now in custody of child protective services.

Authorities have said a motive for the crash was unclear. But a picture is emerging of a woman who overcame a rough childhood and homelessness to become an award-winning high school graduate and caring mother -- only to have it go terribly awry.

Holloway previously lived in Oregon, where she changed her name in October to Paris Paradise Morton, according to court records.

Several years ago, she graduated from an alternative high school in Portland and received an award for overcoming adversity from the non-profit Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center, which helps at-risk youths with education and job training.

After she was arrested Sunday, she told investigators she was homeless and out of money, sleeping in her car in casino parking garages. She said she was getting little rest because casino security would force her out. She might have been on her way to Texas to find the estranged father of her daughter, authorities said.

"She ended up on the Strip, 'a place she did not want to be,"' a police report quoted her as saying. "She would not explain why she drove onto the sidewalk but remembered a body bouncing off her windshield, breaking it."

People jumped on the car and banged on its windows, but Holloway kept driving, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said. She went about a mile with a broken windshield and a flattened tire before pulling into an off-Strip hotel and telling a valet to call 911.

Holloway no showed no resistance when police arrived and spoke coherently about what happened, the sheriff said. A police drug-recognition expert said it appeared she wasn't drunk but may have been under the influence of a stimulant.

Associated Press writers Jacques Billeaud in Phoenix, Gosia Wozniacka and Steven DuBois in Portland, Oregon, and Kimberly Pierceall and Brian Skoloff in Las Vegas contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Rohingya continue fleeing to Bangladesh despite repatriation deal

    World News CTV News
    DHAKA, Bangladesh - Rohingya refugees are continuing to flee from Myanmar into Bangladesh, even after the two countries said they will begin repatriating members of the minority ethnic group next week, a Bangladesh official said Friday. Source
  • Lac-Megantic jury to deliberate today for ninth consecutive day

    Canada News CTV News
    SHERBROOKE, Que. - Jurors will deliberate for a ninth consecutive day today at the trial of three men charged with criminal negligence causing death in the Lac-Megantic railway disaster. There was no news again from the 12 jurors on Thursday. Source
  • Man charged in presumed deaths of 2 Toronto men set to appear in court

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - A man charged with first-degree murder in the presumed deaths of two men who vanished from Toronto's gay village last year is set to appear in court today. Bruce McArthur, a 66-year-old Toronto man, was arrested and charged yesterday as part of an investigation into the disappearance of Selim Esen and Andrew Kinsman. Source
  • Toronto shooting leaves 2 men dead, 2 more with life-threatening injuries

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - An overnight shooting in Toronto has left two men dead and two others in hospital with life-threatening injuries. Toronto police say the four men, all reportedly in their 20s, were found in a car at about 1 a.m. Source
  • California couple's abuse of kids became torture, prosecutor says

    World News CTV News
    RIVERSIDE, Calif. - They were starved and shackled to their beds, sometimes for months. They were beaten and choked. They were given scant medical care, often denied use of a toilet and allowed to shower but once a year. Source
  • California couple's abuse of kids became torture: prosecutor

    World News CTV News
    RIVERSIDE, Calif. - They were starved and shackled to their beds, sometimes for months. They were beaten and choked. They were given scant medical care, often denied use of a toilet and allowed to shower but once a year. Source
  • Authorities amputate hand of convicted thief in Iran

    World News CTV News
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - A semi-official news agency is reporting that authorities in Iran have amputated the hand of a convicted thief in a prison in the country's northeast. The report from the ISNA news agency says one hand of the 34-year-old convict identified only as Ali was cut off by "guillotine" in a prison in Mashhad, some 900 kilometres (550 miles) northeast of the capital Tehran. Source
  • U.S. Congress likely racing toward a government shutdown

    World News CBC News
    A bitterly divided Congress hurtled toward a government shutdown this weekend in a partisan staredown over demands by Democrats for a solution on politically fraught legislation to protect about 700,000 younger immigrants from being deported. Democrats in the Senate have served notice they will filibuster a four-week, government-wide funding bill that passed the House Thursday evening, seeking to shape a subsequent measure but exposing themselves to charges they are responsible for a looming…
  • Australian prostitute convicted for infecting man with HIV

    World News CTV News
    PERTH, Australia - An Australian jury on Friday convicted a transgender prostitute of causing grievous bodily harm by knowingly infecting a client with HIV. Clayton James Palmer, who identifies as a woman and now goes by the name C.J. Source
  • Atlanta police: Someone stole a car, dumped 2 girls on roadways

    World News CTV News
    ATLANTA - Authorities are looking for someone they say stole an SUV with two children inside and left them on major roadways. Clayton County police Sgt. Ashanti Marbury tells news outlets that 1-month-old Ava Wilmer and 4-year-old Arya Davenport were found after their mother's vehicle was stolen from a QuikTrip. Source