Judge denies man use of public defender in attempted murder case

A district judge has denied a claim of indigence from a Las Vegas man accused of hiring a hit man to shoot his own son over an insurance fraud and love triangle.

Judge David Barker gave Keith Harriman two weeks to hire an attorney after ruling that the 49-year-old man could afford his own representation.

Harriman was initially represented by the public defender's office, but prosecutors became suspicious when he posted $500,000 bail in the attempted murder case. It turned out Harriman got financial help from ultimate fighter Tito Ortiz, a family friend.

A review of Harriman's finances revealed that he was paying $3,300 a month in rent -- or about $40,000 a year -- which doesn't meet the criteria of indigency.

Public defenders represent defendants who can't afford to hire an attorney.

Harriman faces 12 felony counts in connection with a plot to have his son, Dominick Harriman, 27, killed because of an insurance fraud scam and an affair with Keith Harriman's former wife.

At a preliminary hearing in February, Dominick Harriman testified his father wanted him dead because he told insurance fraud investigators that his father's $160,000 burglary loss claim was a scam to feed a crack cocaine addiction. The son also said his father was angry because he had slept with his father's ex-wife.

Dominick Harriman was shot at least nine times Aug. 27 at the used-car dealership where he worked for his uncle, Wayne Harriman, at Nice Cars of Nevada, 3401 S. Decatur Blvd. The shooter has not been identified.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039.