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‘Can you get him out of here?’ Man gets life sentence in 2016 fatal shooting near Strip

Updated January 31, 2024 - 8:08 pm

A Las Vegas judge reprimanded a 38-year-old man for his lack of remorse before sentencing him to life in prison on Tuesday for a 2016 double homicide near the Strip.

“I was really hoping today that (the victims’ families) may get some feeling of remorse, or some feeling of peace, that perhaps Mr. Talley would be able to give them that,” District Judge Jacqueline Bluth said during Omar Talley’s sentencing hearing on Tuesday morning.

Talley was convicted in October following a nearly two-week jury trial for the killings of Northern California women Melissa Mendoza, 27, and Jennifer Chicas, 27. The two friends were in Las Vegas on Feb. 19, 2016, with Jerraud Jackson when Jackson got into an argument with Talley at the Miracle Mile Shops parking garage at the Planet Hollywood Resort.

Prosecutors said Talley was in the area while “involved in pimping”and had gotten into an argument with Jackson after he said something disparaging about Mendoza and Chicas. Surveillance footage showed Talley pointing a gun at the group while they were in a silver Hyundai.

Shortly after, police received a report of gunfire just west of the Strip. Prosecutors said Talley got into his vehicle and chased the other group down, opening fire into the Hyundai and shooting Mendoza, Chicas and Jackson.

Victims had ‘no dog in this fight’

Chief Deputy District Attorney John Giordani said that Mendoza and Chicas “had no dog in this fight whatsoever.”

“He made a decision to get in his car and to chase those people down, and to fill their car with bullets,” Giordani said. “That was his choice.”

When the judge asked Talley if he wanted to make a statement about the case, he started saying “RIP” for his family members.

“Mr. Talley, we’re not doing this,” Bluth said as Talley continued to talk. “Hey! Don’t. Do not talk over me… Move it along. Now.”

“Even though I got nothing to do with the crime, I send my condolences to the family who lost their loved ones,” Talley said, before interjecting that Duane “Keffe D” Davis should be released from jail.

Talley’s defense attorney, Christopher Oram, argued that his client had apologized to the victims’ families, but Talley interrupted him to again state that he only expressed his “condolences” and claimed he was not involved in the killings.

The judge sentenced Talley to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Bluth asked marshals to escort Talley out of the courtroom toward the end of the hearing, after she said she heard him “threaten” the surviving victim, Jackson, while the judge was speaking with the attorneys.

“Mr. Talley at what point are you going to get the message?” Bluth said. “Can you get him out of here?”

“Let’s go,” Talley cried out as he was led out of the courtroom.

It was unclear what exactly Talley said to Jackson, who declined to speak to a reporter following Tuesday’s hearing.

Earlier in the hearing, multiple family members spoke about Mendoza and Chicas. The two had been close friends since high school, and considered themselves family.

‘We as a family are broken’

Chicas’ sister, Nancy Chicas, said she now looks after her young niece and nephew, who have had to grow up without a mother for the past eight years.

She described her sister as her family’s “light,” who made others want to be the best versions of themselves.

“We as a family are broken, and all we can do is pick up the pieces, but we can never make our hearts whole again,” Nancy Chicas said.

Mendoza’s brother, Francisco Pachote, said his sister was outgoing with an infectious smile, and she got along with everyone.

“She did not deserve this, and neither did Jenny,” Pachote said.

Mendoza and Jennifer Chicas were like “two peas in a pod,” said Mendoza’s mother’s mother, Tonette Mendoza.

Tonette Mendoza said that although she doesn’t believe in the death penalty, she wanted to see Talley sentenced to the maximum possible punishment.

Talley had initially faced the death penalty for the murders, but prosecutors withdrew the possibility of capital punishment before his trial began, court records show.

“We will never stop grieving, we will never get over this,” Tonette Mendoza told the judge.

She wore a purple shirt with a picture of her smiling daughter on Tuesday.

Following the hearing, Tonette Mendoza said she was saddened because of Talley’s lack of remorse.

He showed “no respect for life,” she said.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240.

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