2 from Arizona appear in court in Vegas shooting

A judge on Friday scheduled a Monday bail hearing for an Arizona woman jailed on felony charges in a Christmas week shooting that left a motorist badly wounded on the Strip.

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Janiece Marshall also appointed a public defender to represent Brittanie Merritt-Burwell and a lawyer for her boyfriend, Joshua Youngblood, and set a Jan. 17 preliminary hearing of evidence in the Dec. 23 shooting.

Both suspects stood in shackles on Friday and said nothing in court. They were not asked to enter pleas to the charges.

Merritt-Burwell, 21, was charged with attempted murder and battery with a deadly weapon after a man was shot in the neck as he sat in a vehicle following what police described as a traffic dispute.

Youngblood, 28, faces concealed weapon and accessory charges.

Merritt-Burwell acknowledged wielding a silver handgun and told police she was defending herself, police said.

The wounded motorist wasn’t identified. Police said he remained in critical condition at University Medical Center.

Merritt-Burwell and Youngblood were arrested Monday, a week after the shooting, when their white Chevrolet Impala was spotted at a fast-food restaurant a few blocks from the Strip.

They remain in custody at the Clark County jail.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson called the case important to a tourist community concerned about violence on the main casino corridor.

“We take these cases very seriously,” Wolfson said. “But for the grace of God, this could have been a murder.”

Merritt-Burwell told police she was from Glendale, Ariz., and had been staying at various Las Vegas hotels for about two weeks.

Prosecutor Chris Burton told the judge on Friday that the dispute with the motorist may have developed after Merritt-Burwell and Youngblood were asked to leave a club at the nearby Hooter’s casino-hotel.

Witnesses told police that a woman got out of a Chevrolet Impala with Arizona license plates, approached the man’s vehicle about 11:20 p.m. near Harmon Avenue, and shot him through an open driver’s side window.