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Ex-Las Vegas detective killed man in self-defense, lawyers say

Updated April 24, 2019 - 4:48 pm

Attorneys for a retired Las Vegas police detective who faces a murder charge said Wednesday that she was acting in self-defense when she shot and killed her former son-in-law.

Pamela Bordeaux hired Robert Draskovich and Michael Horvath, who told the Review-Journal that the 55-year-old grandmother was worried about her family’s safety.

“The decedent has a deeply disturbing history,” Draskovich said. “There had been an escalation prior to what occurred Monday. Ms. Bordeaux feared for herself and feared for her family, and her actions were reasonable under the circumstances. We’ll be presenting the full picture and the entire story to the court.”

Prosecutors have said Sean Babbitt, 32, suffered 10 gunshot wounds Monday morning as he wrapped up an hourlong visit with his 3-year-old son, Brandon, at Bordeaux’s home on the 8500 block of Honey Vine Avenue in the northwest valley.

Bordeaux, who is being held in the Clark County Detention Center without bail, is due back in court Thursday morning, where her attorneys are expected to ask for a separate bail hearing.

Draskovich and Horvath spoke with the retired detective at the jail and said they plan to launch a “full investigation” into the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

“We’re going to give a full explanation as to why it occurred,” Draskovich added.

He said Bordeaux had an “exemplary” record during four years of service in the Army as well as with the Metropolitan Police Department, where she worked in a child abuse and neglect detail, along with handling domestic violence and missing persons cases. She joined the force as a police officer on Dec. 13, 1993, Metro employment records show.

Bordeaux’s daughter had called 911 to report the shooting, authorities said. She was on the second floor of the home with the boy at the time, and officers safely removed the pair through a window using a ladder.

Police said Tuesday that Bordeaux stepped outside of the house and told officers that there was a man near the front door whom she had shot.

Prosecutors said Babbitt was preparing to leave the home when he suffered defensive gunshot wounds in the hands, along with wounds in his head and torso.

Babbitt worked as a manager for a limousine service and drove for Uber, according to his stepfather, Dan Mandarino. He also worked as a dispatcher with the Nevada Department of Public Safety from June 2013 to July 2015, according to a department spokeswoman.

Babbitt’s 19-year-old half-sister, Kassyel Babbitt of Wisconsin, said she and her brother had been in a band. He was a great older brother, she said, and “would give you the shirt off of his back if you needed it.”

Public divorce records indicate a couple named Erika and Sean Babbitt and their 3-year-old son previously lived at the Honey Vine address with Bordeaux, though the documents show Sean Babbitt no longer lived at the home as of October 2015.

Erika Babbitt had full custody of their son, and Sean Babbitt was allowed an hour of visitation each week at Bordeaux’s residence, contingent on him continuing weekly therapy, the documents show. The couple married in August 2008 and divorced in March 2016.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter. Reporters Mike Shoro and Katelyn Newberg contributed to this story.

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