Akeem Tripp to stand trial in Phillip Hooks slaying

Akeem Tripp believed Phillip Hooks was too big to fight. So Tripp shot him seven times, once in the back of the head, prosecutors say.

Tripp, 20, weighing 146 pounds and standing 5 feet, 6 inches tall, will face a murder trial, Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melanie Tobiasson ruled Wednesday, finding that prosecutors have enough evidence to present the case to a jury.

Hooks was shot March 4 at the Universe at Sunrise Apartments on Stewart Avenue, near Nellis Boulevard.

Las Vegas homicide detectives investigated the killing for months but found no witnesses to shooting.

Tripp was arrested in November after a neighbor told police Tripp confessed to shooting Hooks, his girlfriend’s former boyfriend. Tripp told police he didn’t do it.

The neighbor, Mark Thompson, told investigators Hooks earlier had confronted the ex-girlfriend over “something” and hit her in the mouth, leading to the confrontation with Tripp.

And Hooks, 29, who weighed 190 pounds and stood 6 feet tall, called Tripp a “bitch,” the neighbor said.

Thompson said he was in jail on misdemeanor traffic citations when he helped police in their investigation, and Public Defender Norm Reed said the neighbor “fabricated” the confession because he wanted detectives to get him out.

Thompson admitted Wednesday he did ask police to help him get out of jail, but he still owes $6,000 in traffic citations.

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