Man indicted in 2009 landlord beating death


A Las Vegas man was indicted by a grand jury Wednesday on one count of murder of a victim older than 60 in the beating death of his landlord in 2009.

Authorities say Jonathan Van Hook, 36, pummeled Morteza Mostafavi-Kashani, 62, with his fists, breaking all of the man's ribs and splitting the victim's liver open.

Las Vegas police were called May 3, 2009, to the 4700 block of East Boston Avenue, near Nellis Boulevard and Sahara Avenue, after a neighbor saw the 6-foot-2-inch, 244-pound Van Hook walking around a driveway with blood on him.

Police found Mostafavi-Kashani face-down in a pool of blood in the laundry area of Van Hook's residence, his dentures next to his body.

Prosecutor Marc DiGiacomo said Wednesday that the injuries Mostafavi-Kashani suffered were "outrageous."

"He had injuries to his brain that, in my career as a prosecutor, I've never seen hemorrhaging as deep into the brain as described by the medical examiner," DiGiacomo said.

Since his arrest, Van Hook has moved back and forth between the Clark County Detention Center and Lake's Crossing, Nevada's mental health institution. He is described as a bipolar manic depressive who must be forcibly medicated to quell violent behavior.

According to a Las Vegas police report, Van Hook at first denied he hit his landlord. But he later told investigators, "If something happened and I was involved, it's not cuz I brought it. It's because he brought it to me and I just reacted, man," the report said.

Van Hook is being held at the county jail on no bail. He is to be arraigned Jan. 27 in District Court .

 

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