The sister of slain dancer Debora Flores Narvaez let loose a profanity-laced tirade at the murder suspect after a brief appearance Wednesday in North Las Vegas Justice Court.
"I hope you (expletive) rot in jail, you (expletive), for what you did to her, you (expletive). I hope you rot in hell," Celeste Flores Narvaez yelled to Jason "Blu" Griffith as he was escorted from Justice of the Peace Chris Lee's courtroom. Griffith appeared in court dressed in prison scrubs with his arms and legs chained.
Griffith, the former boyfriend of Debora Flores Narvaez and a performer in the Cirque du Soleil show "Love" at The Mirage, was charged with murder, felony battery constituting domestic violence (strangulation) and destroying evidence, a gross misdemeanor.
Weeping, Celeste Flores Narvaez was escorted from the courtroom after the outburst, a throng of media chasing after her.
She was wearing a clip-on microphone in court, and at least one photographer working for the France 2 television network had accompanied her into the courtroom and left in a car with her.
A member of the French film crew and Flores Narvaez both said she was not paid for that access.
At a news conference hours later, Flores Narvaez said she was overcome with emotion at the sight of Griffith and didn't mean to disrespect the court.
"I was filled with complete anger and rage. I was sad and hurt," she said. "I needed to get that out, I guess."
She said she was surprised to see Griffith in the courtroom because she thought he would only be on a television screen like he was the day before.
"I wasn't expecting to see my sister's killer," she said. "I felt so bad because I would never want to disrupt the judge."
Las Vegas police discovered the dancer's dismembered body Saturday in two tubs filled with concrete in a downtown Las Vegas home.
Debora Flores Narvaez, 31, died from "asphyxiation due to neck compression," the Clark County coroner's office said. Her death was ruled a homicide.
Griffith, 32, is being held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center.
Griffith and another man, Louis Colombo, are accused of renting a truck to hide the body. Colombo admitted his involvement to police in exchange for leniency and has not been arrested or charged.
Debora Flores Narvaez was reported missing a day after she failed to show up for a Dec. 13 performance in the Luxor show "Fantasy."
Her disappearance made national headlines, in part because her family made high-profile appeals for help in finding her.
A throng of national and international news organizations attended the hearing Wednesday.
The Luxor will host a memorial for the dancer at 11 a.m. Friday in the "Fantasy" showroom.
The Clark County public defenders office was assigned to represent Griffith in the case.
Deputy Public Defender Abel Yanez noted for the record during the hearing that Griffith does not want to speak with prosecutors or police about the case.
After Griffith was arrested and asked to speak to an attorney, he told a Las Vegas police homicide detective that the slaying was "a heat of the moment thing," according to his arrest report.
A judge will decide whether that comment to the detective can be used against Griffith in court because he had earlier asked to speak to an attorney.
A preliminary hearing was set for Feb. 15 to determine if prosecutors have enough evidence to send the case to trial.
Deputy Public Defender Jeff Banks said the outburst by the victim's sister would not affect Griffith's defense.
Banks said relationships are "a two-way street," and "our defense of him (Griffith) is going to be aggressive, vigorous and thorough."
He said he will review the couple's volatile history, including at least three known incidents in which authorities responded to calls of domestic violence between the couple.
Two of the incidents did not result in an arrest, Las Vegas police said.
After an incident Oct. 22, Griffith was arrested in the beating of Debora Flores Narvaez.
A preliminary hearing in that case was scheduled for April 14.
Review-Journal reporter Brian Haynes contributed to this report. Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@ reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039.