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Father ordered to surrender guns after Summerlin shooting

Updated April 17, 2024 - 8:07 pm

Attorney Dylan Houston can continue to have supervised access to his children, but he must give up his guns, a Family Court judge ruled during a contentious custody hearing Wednesday afternoon.

Family Court Judge Bill Henderson also acknowledged that Las Vegas homicide detectives are continuing to investigate last week’s shooting in which Houston’s father killed Houston’s ex-wife and her husband before killing himself.

Parties on both sides of the court case frequently raised their voices and spoke over each other during the hearing, which lasted for nearly three hours.

Henderson said he wanted to keep the best interest of Houston’s two children in mind as he determined temporary custody arrangements.

“It all boils down to what’s best for the children,” the judge said.

Houston and his ex-wife, Ashley Prince, were involved in a bitter custody dispute over their two children at the time of the shooting, which occurred during an April 8 deposition at a Summerlin law office. Prince and her new husband, Dennis Prince, were killed by attorney Joseph Houston II.

Metro continuing ‘thorough investigation’

Attorney John Jones, who previously helped represent Ashley Prince and is now representing her sister, told the judge that police are continuing to investigate Dylan Houston following the shooting.

“I don’t know anything about any Metro investigation, aside from that they are inquiring,” Henderson said during the hearing.

Asked on Wednesday if police are investigating whether Dylan Houston had any involvement in the shooting, a Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the department “is continuing a thorough investigation into the homicides of Dennis and Ashley Prince.”

Henderson ruled that Dylan Houston must turn over his weapons to Metro, including a weapon for which he has a concealed-carry permit. After lengthy arguments, the judge did not order anyone from Ashley Prince’s family to turn over weapons, including Ashley Prince’s father, who is a former police officer. Jones and attorney Dana Dwiggins, who represents Ashley Prince’s parents, argued that their clients are in fear for their safety following the fatal shooting.

Custodial rights

The judge ruled that Dylan Houston will continue to have custodial rights while the case is being litigated. He can see his children three days a week while being supervised by another member of his family, and he must continue to undergo alcohol monitoring, the judge said. If he violates terms of the agreement, the judge will hold another emergency hearing.

At multiple times Wednesday, the judge noted that there will be a high burden of proof to take away custody from a biological parent.

Joseph Houston opened fire during a deposition at Dennis Prince’s law firm, during which attorneys were set to question Katherine Houston, who is Dylan Houston’s mother and Joseph Houston’s wife. Dylan Houston was not present.

Dennis Prince, who also had a baby with Ashley Prince, was acting as his wife’s attorney in the case, while Joseph Houston was representing his son.

An emergency motion was filed by Ashley Prince’s lawyers hours after the shooting. It asked the judge to grant custody of Dylan Houston and Ashley Prince’s two young children to Ashley Prince’s sister.

In the motion, which the judge granted, attorneys alleged that Dylan Houston “knew or must have known of the intentions of his father prior to the commission of these heinous acts.”

Dylan Houston denied the accusation in his own court filing, calling the suggestion “insulting and quite speculative.”

He declined to speak with reporters following Wednesday’s hearing.

Dylan Houston’s new attorney, former Family Court Judge Gerald Hardcastle, also declined to address the accusations.

“We’re going to do it in court,” Hardcastle said.

‘Drama control’

The judge also called on attorney Jack Howard, who was previously appointed as a special hearing master in the case. Part of his job was to “deal with just, drama control,” Henderson said.

Howard told the judge that he would recommend that “any parties involved in this action” surrender their weapons.

Henderson asked the attorneys not to argue the facts of the case during Wednesday’s hearing. But Jones told the judge that Dylan Houston had a history of substance abuse, including a prior positive test for cocaine.

Jones also alleged that Dylan Houston had sent his ex-wife threatening text messages, including one reported to read: “I don’t want to see you unless you’re in a casket.”

As recently as last week, Dylan Houston was listed as a partner at Resnick & Louis’ Las Vegas offices’ website. His attorney said Wednesday that Dylan Houston is on a “leave of absence” from his job.

The judge scheduled a five-day trial in the custody dispute to begin on July 29.

Media presence

At the start of the hearing, the judge heard arguments on a motion the Review-Journal filed Tuesday to keep the court proceedings open, and to unseal documents in the case.

Henderson allowed media to remain in the court hearing, but he said he expected to issue a ruling in the coming days to potentially unseal the court file.

The Review-Journal argued in Tuesday’s motion that a recent Supreme Court ruling affirmed that Family Court matters are presumed open to the public.

The judge said that despite the personal nature of the case, “anything that discourages transparency and public accountability of taxpayer-funded institutions — it can only lead in the wrong direction and create suspicions and distrust.” He also noted that there is a legitimate public interest in the “security concerns” involved in the case.

“And just the conduct of Family Court in general is something the public is interested in,” said attorney Maggie McLetchie, who represented the Review-Journal.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Review-Journal staff writer Brett Clarkson contributed to this report.

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