A 16-year-old Las Vegas Valley boy charged with killing his brother and being kept on lockdown in an adult jail opted Monday to skip a court appearance.
Turner Bronson faces one count of murder in the death of 18-year-old Clayton Bronson, who suffered gunshot wounds to the stomach and head from point-blank range. Their mother, Wendy Bronson, was near her older son when he was shot in the head in their southwest valley home May 22, police said.
Turner Bronson is being held without bail in a juvenile pod at the Clark County Detention Center.
After the brief hearing Monday, Turner Bronson’s attorney, Amy Feliciano, with the Clark County Public Defender’s Office, declined to say why he refused to appear in court. Wendy Bronson sat in the back row of the courtroom with a group of family members.
Prosecutors said they did not know why Turner Bronson was not present.
Justice of the Peace Pro-Tem Terry Coffing set a status check for July 2.
Last week, in a juvenile court hearing, Feliciano said Bronson was kept in his cell 23 hours a day at the Clark County Detention Center and only allowed out for 10- to 15-minute phone calls, exercise and a shower.
He was denied a telephone call to his family on June 1, his 16th birthday, Feliciano said. She asked Judge William Voy to have Bronson moved to the juvenile detention center. The teen was present for that hearing, shackled in navy blue jail fatigues.
Feliciano said it was “critical” for Turner Bronson to interact with his mother, but she was only allowed 25-minute video-conference visits at the Clark County Detention Center.
“His mother has not even been able to hug her son since he was arrested,” she said. “She has only seen him through a video screen.”
Prosecutor Brigid Duffy said juvenile detention is designed as a short-term holding facility for youths and not as secure as the adult facility. Bronson could earn his high school diploma in the adult detention center, she added.
“That is the best place to get him prepared for what he is facing,” Duffy said.
Voy declined to have Bronson moved but said he wanted to hear more from the sheriff’s office about why he was in lockdown at the adult jail.
The hearing came to a close, and Feliciano asked the judge if Wendy Bronson could hug her son, but the judge would not allow it.
As he was escorted out of the courtroom, Turner Bronson quickly turned his head and looked back at his mother.
The night of the night of the shooting, the brothers were quarreling before their mother heard a gunshot, according to a police report.
She rose from her bed, saw her older son in the upstairs hallway holding his stomach, and searched for her cell phone to call 911, the report stated.
Clayton Bronson walked downstairs into the dining room, bleeding.
Wendy Bronson stood with her dying son before Turner Bronson approached again with a black revolver in his hand.
The teen aimed at the side of his brother’s head and fired a single shot, the report said.
Clayton Bronson died three weeks before his scheduled graduation from Sierra Vista High School.
Contact reporter David Ferrara at 702-380-1039 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter: @randompoker.