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Badge found in search belonged to trooper killed in crash

Updated December 5, 2023 - 7:06 pm

A police badge that belonged to one of the Nevada Highway Patrol troopers killed Thursday was found during a search of the vehicle driven by the man arrested in connection with the fatal crash, police said.

The metal Nevada State Police badge was found inside the 2005 Chevrolet HHR that police allege Jemarcus Williams, 46, was driving when Sgt. Michael Abbate and trooper Alberto Felix were struck and killed early Thursday, said Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Officer Bob Wicks on Tuesday.

The badge belonged to Abbate, Wicks said.

“It became detached from him during the collision,” Wicks said.

The front of the vehicle was heavily damaged, police said, and Review-Journal photographs of the vehicle showed damage to the windshield.

Related: Counsel appointed for DUI suspect accused of killing NHP troopers

The badge discovery was part of the allegations against Williams that are described in a Metropolitan Police Department arrest report released Monday. The report also detailed the circumstances of the crash.

According to the report, the Highway Patrol received a report about a suspicious vehicle that was stopped on the D Street exit from northbound Interstate 15 at about 3:23 a.m. Thursday.

Abbate and Felix responded and found a black Jeep stopped by the ramp’s east barrier. When Felix and Abbate were standing in the one northbound lane on the exit, a white 2005 Chevrolet HHR struck them, killing them, police said.

The vehicle braked briefly, but kept driving, police said.

After being dispatched to search for the suspected vehicle, Metro officers found a white 2005 Chevrolet HHR with major damage to its right front, police said, in the parking lot of 1100 West Monroe Avenue, a short drive from the crash scene.

At about 9:20 a.m., officers went to the apartment to talk to the woman whose name the vehicle is registered under. There, they met the woman, as well as Williams.

At this point, according to the report, a Metro officer overheard Williams say something to the effect of how he did not kill them and that police should be looking for the person who did.

‘I wrecked him, I wrecked him’

Interviewed by police, Williams said he had consumed one shot of vodka at the “Valentino” concert at the Palms, the report stated. His speech was slurred and incoherent at times, police said, and his breath smelled of alcohol.

Williams said that a friend named “Omega” drove him home and that he passed out and woke up in the parking lot of the apartments, then went to bed.

Then Williams said, “I’m f—-ed, I’m going to jail for life,” the report said. “It’s me, I f—-ed up I was driving, I wrecked him, I wrecked him.”

Using license plate reader data, police said, officers determined that the vehicle was recorded as being at the Palms earlier in the day, police said. Police watched surveillance video of Williams, who first arrived at the Palms at about 9:35 p.m. Wednesday.

‘Hiding from security’

At about 1 a.m., Williams was with several other people at a table in the Palms’ 55th-floor Ghostbar, where R&B singer Bobby V., formerly known as Bobby Valentino, was performing.

At the table where Williams was sitting, police said, the service included one bottle of Hennessy, three bottles of vodka and three Red Bull energy drinks.

Between 1:46 a.m. and 3:01 a.m., the arrest report said, it “appeared as though (Williams) was heavily intoxicated due to his body swaying.” The arrest report said Williams “used furniture to hold himself upright, spilled his drink, and dropped his phone on several occasions.”

Between 3:06 a.m. and 3:15 a.m., Palms security followed Williams and generated a report stating that an intoxicated male was being escorted out. Security workers told Williams that if he got into his vehicle, they would contact Metro police, the report said. They suggested he take a taxi or an Uber.

At 3:15 a.m., Williams “appeared to be hiding from security behind a large tree as he was out of view of the camera.”

Security officials then walked away, the report said.

Williams ran back to his vehicle and got into the driver’s seat, the report alleged.

The vehicle was last seen heading east on Flamingo Road toward Interstate 15, police said.

Minutes later, according to the police, the vehicle would strike and kill two troopers Felix and Abbate.

Williams, who was arrested Thursday, faces multiple charges including two counts each of reckless driving resulting in death, DUI resulting in death and failing to stop at the scene of a crash.

A previous version of this story misstated the day Jemarcus Williams was arrested.

Contact Brett Clarkson at bclarkson@reviewjournal.com.

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