Prosecutors said Thursday they may seek the death penalty for a 19-year-old "predator" accused of the rape and slaying of Arbor View High School student Alyssa Otremba, 15, over Labor Day weekend.
After Javier Righetti's appearance in Las Vegas Justice Court, prosecutor Christopher Lalli said the district attorney's death penalty committee will review the case once it is sent to District Court.
At an Oct. 14 preliminary hearing, prosecutors must convince a justice of the peace there is enough evidence to take the case to trial.
Righetti told detectives Monday he raped and robbed the teen, his arrest report said. Alyssa's body, which was badly burned, was found Saturday in a northwest valley vacant lot.
On Thursday, Justice of the Peace Conrad Hafen ordered Righetti held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center. Deputy Public Defender Tim O'Brien represents Righetti .
Righetti, who appeared in court dressed in navy blue jail scrubs with his arms and legs shackled, faces charges of murder, sexual assault, kidnapping and armed robbery.
After Thursday's hearing, Alyssa's parents, who missed the proceeding because of traffic, said they remained in shock at the death of their daughter
Alyssa's mother, Jennifer Otremba, said she understood how difficult it will be to go through the expected lengthy legal process in the criminal case.
"It's gonna be tough," Otremba said. "But we will be there every step of the way to make sure he's put away and unable to do this to anybody else."
Alyssa's father, Scott Otremba, said he and his family are thankful for the outpouring of support from the community. At least 200 people gathered Wednesday night to honor Alyssa during a candlelight vigil in Arbor View High School's parking lot on Whispering Sands and Buffalo drives.
"It was hard not to love her. She had an infectious laugh and smile," Jennifer Otremba said.
A private funeral service is set for this weekend, she said.
Alyssa was last heard from about 6:30 p.m. Friday. She sent a text message to her mother saying she would return home in 30 minutes. She had gone to borrow a geometry book from a friend, a Las Vegas police report said.
The Arbor View freshman's body was found Saturday by volunteers who were searching for her in the northwest valley. Her body was found along the route she took between home and school.
Police said she had been raped, stabbed more than 40 times and burned.
Police said it appeared the slaying was a random act. Righetti and the victim did not know each other.
Righetti was arrested at his home on the 7900 block of Willow Pines Drive, minutes from Alyssa's home and less than a mile from the vacant lot where her body was found.
Police tracked down Righetti through his friend, Daniel Ortiz. Ortiz told police Righetti called him about 12:30 a.m. Saturday and said he had killed a girl during a robbery. Ortiz "thought he was high," the report said.
Ortiz gave Righetti a ride to a convenience store, where Righetti bought gasoline and matches, the report said.
Ortiz then drove Righetti to the vacant lot on Grand Teton Drive and Tee Pee Lane. Ortiz told detectives he "felt like he was going to throw up" and left.
Ortiz's girlfriend called police after she learned of the missing girl and became suspicious of Righetti, the report said.
It said Righetti also admitted to a second rape and robbery, but he had not been charged in a second case as of late Thursday.
On Wednesday, Sheriff Doug Gillespie described Righetti as a "predator" who will be held accountable for his crimes.
Contact reporter Francis McCabe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-1039.