Woman pleads not guilty to shotgun death of roommate

A 26-year-old woman on Thursday pleaded not guilty to charges she fatally shot her roommate with a shotgun.

Mary Pitrello faces five charges, including murder, assault with a deadly weapon of victim over 60 years old and robbery with a deadly weapon, in connection with the September death of Oliver Doppert at his apartment at 9050 Warm Springs Road, near El Capitan Way.

Doppert’s girlfriend, Nicole Guess, testified earlier this month that he called her the night of Sept. 12 moments before being shot and said Pitrello was angry because he took away Pitrello’s car keys. He didn’t want Pitrello to drive after she had been drinking, Guess said.

Guess then heard a muffled boom. Guess, a Henderson police officer, testified through tears that Doppert “took maybe four or five more breaths and then it went so quiet,” she said.

Pitrello left the home with a friend and fled to the Stratosphere, police said. The friend, Stevie Lynn Bast, testified that she notified casino security, and Pitrello was arrested at a casino bar.

Bast said she and Pitrello were both heavily intoxicated after drinking a 5-liter box of Sunset Blush wine throughout the day.

According to a police report, Pitrello told police she killed Doppert because he raped her about a week earlier in their apartment.

Investigators were skeptical of Pitrello’s allegation because she hadn’t reported the rape and continued to live with Doppert. The rape accusation was not brought up during the preliminary hearing Thursday. Pitrello’s lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Ed Kane, hinted that his client has had mental health problems. He would not elaborate after the hearing.

Pitrello remained held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center. A trial date will be set at a Dec. 3 hearing.

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