Clark County prosecutors will not seek the death penalty against a man accused of strangling and dismembering "Fantasy" performer Debora Flores Narvaez.
The district attorney's death penalty committee 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 the committee answered no to one of those factors and decided not to seek capital punishment for Jason "Blu" Griffith, 32. He declined to discuss specifics.
Griffith, a dancer in another Strip show, was indicted in February on one count of murder in the December death of Flores Narvaez.
Authorities said that after Griffith killed his former girlfriend, he dismembered her body and hid it in cement-filled tubs in a downtown home. Griffith's roommate, Louis Colombo, is suspected of helping to hide the body.
Griffith was arrested in January after a monthlong investigation into the woman's disappearance. Colombo admitted his involvement in a bid for leniency. He has not been arrested or charged, but prosecutors are still reviewing the case.
Two public defenders representing Griffith presented arguments to the committee as to why they think capital punishment wasn't appropriate in the case. Deputy public defender Jeff Banks wouldn't say what he and attorney Abel Yanez argued but said, "I think it was the appropriate decision."
Roger said defense attorneys are allowed to present arguments or medical paperwork as mitigating factors, but he said it is rarely helpful.
After learning of the decision, Flores Narvaez's sister, Celeste, was shocked and frustrated.
"Why would you let someone live who would do such things," she said. "I guess it wasn't monstrous enough."
Celeste Flores Narvaez also expressed frustration that Colombo has not been charged.
Celeste Flores Narvaez, who lives in Georgia, said it has been difficult to deal with the pain of her family's loss.
"The reality is sinking in that you're never going to hear her voice again," she said. "I hope at the end of the day she gets her justice."
Debora Flores Narvaez, 31, was reported missing a day after she failed to show up for a Dec. 13 performance in the Luxor burlesque show "Fantasy."
Her disappearance made national headlines in part because her family made high-profile appeals for help in finding her.
Authorities said Flores Narvaez went to Griffith's North Las Vegas home on Dec. 12 to watch television, but the two fought, and she was killed.
Griffith and Flores Narvaez had a volatile history, including at least three prior incidents in which authorities responded to calls of domestic violence, including one on Oct. 22 that led to Griffith's arrest.
Griffith faces trial in November. He is being held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center.
Contact reporter Francis McCabe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-1039.