Man, 25, to face trial in slaying of former lover


A 25-year-old man accused of killing a former lover with a hand weight and a pair of scissors will stand trial, a Las Vegas justice of the peace ruled Monday.

Brandon Oravetz is charged with one count each of murder with use of a deadly weapon and robbery with use of a deadly weapon for the April death of 39-year-old Roger Dayag Galapon.

Las Vegas police found Galapon's decomposing body at his residence at the Star Motel at 1418 S. Third St., near Main Street and Imperial Avenue, about 12:45 p.m. on April 21.

Detectives believed Galapon's body had been there for several days, police said. His body was discovered after Star Motel employees went to collect overdue rent from Galapon, according to Oravetz' arrest report.

An autopsy revealed that Galapon died from blunt force trauma, with multiple stab wounds and strangulation cited as contributing factors. He also had cocaine and methamphetamine in his system, according to the autopsy report.

Detectives noted that several items that belonged to Galapon were missing from the crime scene, including an iPhone, a watch and Galapon's vehicle.

The vehicle was eventually found and detectives recovered paperwork that led them to a man who told them his friend "Brandon" let him use the car and sleep in it, according to the arrest report.

The friend didn't know his last name, but noted that "Brandon" had several tattoos. Police arrested Oravetz on May 31.

According to testimony at the preliminary hearing, Oravetz told police he had a past sexual relationship with Galapon. He told detectives that the two men were using drugs when Galapon asked Oravetz to touch him, according to testimony.

Oravetz told police he became enraged and hit Galapon with a hand weight and then blacked out, according to the arrest report. Oravetz remembered being covered in blood and seeing a pair of scissors next to Galapon, the report stated. Oravetz also told detectives he may have strangled Galapon.

But authorities believe the real motive for the killing was robbery. Testimony at Monday's hearing revealed that Oravetz owed money to a drug dealer before the slaying occurred.

Justice of the Peace Deborah Lippis ruled after a preliminary hearing that prosecutors had presented enough evidence to send the case to District Court.

The district attorney's death penalty committee is expected to review the case and determine whether prosecutors will seek capital punishment for Oravetz.

He is expected to be arraigned in District Court on the murder and robbery charges July 27.

Oravetz is being held at the Clark County Detention Center without bail, according to jail records.

In a separate case, Oravetz also faces a drug possession charge.

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

 

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