Clark County prosecutors will seek the death penalty against Javier Righetti in the slaying and rape of 15-year-old Alyssa Otremba over the Labor Day weekend.
The district attorney's death penalty committee decided to seek capital punishment for Righetti after convening Thursday.
Righetti, 19, was indicted by a grand jury last week on murder charges in connection with Otremba's death and the March kidnapping and sexual assault of another 15-year-old girl, who survived being strangled in the attack.
Righetti confessed to Las Vegas police that he tortured Otremba while stabbing her in the face and other parts of her body with a knife more than 80 times, authorities say. He carved the initials "LV" on the Arbor View High School freshman's body, authorities say.
The committee, which meets privately, looks at three factors when considering capital punishment: whether there are aggravating factors in the case; whether a jury would impose the death penalty as punishment; and whether a conviction would stand up under appeal.
District Attorney David Roger said there were at least five aggravating circumstances in the case, including rape, kidnapping, robbery, torture and mutilation.
Otremba's burned body was discovered Sept. 3 in a vacant lot along the route she took between home and school in the northwest valley.
The sexual assault of the other teenager occurred on March 8 in tunnels that run under U.S. Highway 95 in the same area of town, authorities said.
Righetti was charged with a total of 10 felony counts in the two attacks, including murder, sexual assault, kidnapping and armed robbery.
His arraignment is set for Oct. 20 before District Judge Michelle Leavitt.
Righetti was arrested at his home on the 7900 block of Willow Pines Drive, minutes from Alyssa's home and less than a mile from the vacant lot where her body was found.
Police tracked down Righetti through his friend Daniel Ortiz.
Ortiz told detectives Righetti called him about 12:30 a.m. Sept. 3 and said he had killed a girl during a robbery.
Contact reporter Francis McCabe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-1039.