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DUI suspect in deaths of 2 Nevada Highway Patrol troopers back in court

Lawyers for a man accused in a DUI crash that killed two Nevada Highway Patrol troopers told a judge Tuesday that they needed more time to review evidence in the case.

Jemarcus Williams, 46, was charged with two felony counts each of DUI resulting in death, failing to stop at the scene of a crash and reckless driving. He was also charged with three misdemeanors.

Williams’ case had initially been set Tuesday for a preliminary hearing, where a judge decides whether prosecutors have enough evidence to present the charges to a jury.

But Chief Deputy Public Defender Michael Yohay told Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Joe Bonaventure that the defense needed more time to review the terabyte of information previously disclosed by prosecutors.

Bonaventure moved the hearing back to March 5.

Police have said Williams struck and killed Nevada Highway Patrol Sgt. Michael Abbate and trooper Alberto Felix in November while the two officers were stopped on Interstate 15 near D Street.

Abbate and Felix had stopped to check on another motorist, who had appeared to have fallen asleep behind the wheel, police have said.

According to the police, Williams sped away from the crash scene and was arrested later that day. He had been seen “heavily intoxicated” at the Palms casino shortly before the crash, prosecutors have said.

After the crash, Williams allegedly told police, “It’s me, I f——ed up I was driving, I wrecked him, I wrecked him,” according to the arrest report.

After Tuesday’s hearing, Yohay said the public defender’s office had reviewed “most” of the information provided by the state, which consisted of video recordings, police reports and witness statements.

Yohay indicated that the defense may independently investigate what happened at the Palms before the fatal crash.

Williams remains in the Clark County Detention Center with bail set at $500,000.

Contact Peter S. Levitt at plevitt@reviewjournal.com.

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