Two could face death penalty

Clark County prosecutors will seek the death penalty against two of six men charged in connection with the slaying of a Las Vegas police officer at his North Las Vegas home in November.

The district attorney's death penalty committee decided Wednesday that Prentice Marshall, 18, and Saul Williams Jr., 20, are eligible for capital punishment in the Nov. 19 shooting death of Trevor Nettleton.

Co-defendants Quadrae Scott and Adrian Pena, both 18, were with Marshall and Williams at the time of the shooting, police allege.

The four are charged with multiple felonies including murder with use of a deadly weapon, burglary and conspiracy to commit robbery.

Pena, alleged to be the driver of the vehicle used during the shooting, is not eligible for capital punishment because he was 17 at the time.

District Attorney David Roger would not go into detail as to why prosecutors will not seek the death penalty against Scott.

Roger said that there are three criteria that must all be met for the committee to seek capital punishment: whether there are aggravating circumstances, whether committee members think a jury will return a sentence of death and whether it will hold up on appeal.

Roger said two aggravating circumstances exist for Marshall and Williams: the robbery of another man in the neighborhood before Nettleton's killing and the attempted robbery of Nettleton.

"They should have to face the ultimate punishment," Roger said.

The two other defendants in the case, half-brothers Emmitt Ferguson, 18, and Michael Ferguson, 25, are charged with accessory to murder and conspiracy.

Authorities allege Marshall, Pena, Williams and Scott were in Pena's Chevrolet Monte Carlo when they saw the garage door of Nettleton's North Las Vegas home open. Nettleton, 30, who had just finished his patrol shift, was inside.

During the attempted robbery of Nettleton, a gunbattle ensued. Marshall was shot in the testicles, and Nettleton was shot and killed by Marshall, authorities said.

The Ferguson brothers are accused of trying to cover up evidence related to the slaying, hiding the Glock handgun in the crawl space of an attic in a nearby home, authorities said.

Meanwhile, Judge David Wall on Wednesday set a trial date for Feb. 16, but it is unlikely that date will stand because lawyers in death penalty cases often need a longer period of time to investigate and collect evidence.

Although four of the defendants have invoked their right to a trial within 60 days, which led Wall to set the February date, the trial probably will be delayed unless the case is severed and some defendants receive their own trials.

No motion to sever was filed as of late Wednesday.

Roger said prosecutors will be ready to go to trial next month if need be.