Son testifies against father in murder-for-hire plot


To call it a "family affair" is accurate, if an understatement.

Sordid details of what authorities allege was a father's attempt to whack his son over an insurance scam and sexual affairs were recounted Wednesday during a preliminary hearing in Las Vegas Justice Court.

Dominick Harriman, 27, testified his father, Keith Harriman, 48, wanted him dead because he told insurance fraud investigators his father's $160,000 burglary loss claim was a scam to feed his crack cocaine addiction.

Dominick Harriman said his father also was angry because he had slept with both his dad's ex-girlfriend and his ex-wife.

"He said, 'You're gonna pay for this. You're gonna pay for what you did,' " the son testified.

Dominick Harriman was shot at least nine times Aug. 27 at the used car dealership where he worked. The shooter has not been identified.

Keith Harriman's public defender, Gary Guymon, hurled accusations at the son during cross-examination, implying that the younger Harriman's own criminal history was motive for a hit. He suggested that Dominick Harriman might been shot because he was a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration informant.

In a dramatic move Wednesday, Dominick Harriman took off his shirt to show the court his entrance and exit wounds from the shooting. His new scars came when he was taking a smoke break at Nice Cars of Nevada, 3401 S. Decatur Blvd., where he sold cars for his uncle.

The gunman, masked with a bandana, came up behind him and fired from less than five feet away.

Dominick Harriman was struck in the chest, both lungs, the abdomen, back and arms, which he had used to shield his face from bullets as he tried to escape. In court he recalled seeing his own intestines ooze out of stomach wounds before a customer who was a nurse helped.

"The nurse was sticking her fingers in the holes," he said. "My guts were coming out of the holes. I felt like I was drowning in my own blood."

Authorities said he was shot nine times, but a physician reported the number was 12, he said.

Harriman testified he thought his father had ordered the hit because of the insurance scam and because he was sleeping with his former girlfriend, Rena Nikolopoulos, 31.

Dominick Harriman also testified he had slept with Keith Harriman's ex-wife, his former stepmother, Amy Nabors.

Though Guymon hammered Harriman about criminality, including armed robbery, drug dealing, gang activity, and fraud, the 27-year-old denied any link between his past and his shooting.

Dominick Harriman has had several other run-ins with the law. In 2005, he was arrested in Pahrump on a charge of possession of a controlled substance, and he pleaded guilty to attempted possession of a controlled substance in Las Vegas.

Two years earlier, he was identified by police as a member of the 311 Boyz gang and was arrested in a rock-throwing incident that maimed teenager Stephen Tanner Hansen. In a plea agreement, Dominick Harriman did not contest a charge of conspiracy to commit coercion and was given one year of probation and a $2,000 fine.

Also testifying Wednesday was Patricia Harriman, Keith Harriman's daughter. She said that months before the shooting, her father had told her he was sending black men to kill Dominick Harriman and warned her not to stand near her brother when he was at work.

A co-worker at the Nice Cars dealership, Miguel Saca, who was shot in the foot during the attack, also testified. He said the gunman was a black man.

After several hours of testimony, Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Ann Zimmerman said she would rule next month whether Keith Harriman should face trial in District Court.

The elder Harriman is charged with several felonies including attempted murder. He is on house arrest after posting $500,000 bond.

Zimmerman said the public defender's office no longer could represent him after she ruled in the case, which was expected to happen March 4. Zimmerman ordered the defendant to hire an attorney because he has assets that include his business, the Used Car Factory on South Highland Drive near the Strip.

Prosecutor Giancarlo Pesci had questioned why the public defender's office was representing a man who could afford to post a $500,000 bond.

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

 

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