weather icon Partly Cloudy

Jailed shooting victim must testify in murder case before release

The lone surviving victim of a January 2017 shooting must testify in handcuffs this week against a suspect in the double murder case, a judge decided Tuesday, a day after the suspect was released on house arrest.

Defendant Durwin Allen, 34, walked out of the Clark County Detention Center less than two weeks after the trial was postponed, with a capital murder charge still hanging over his head after prosecutors could not locate the witness.

Johnny Brooks, shot in the hands when two others were killed, was arrested last week in Texas and returned to Nevada in order to testify under oath.

Once Brooks, 29, completes his testimony on Wednesday, he is expected to be released from the Clark County Detention Center. Allen, who remains on house arrest, is required to attend the hearing.

“Our primary concern is that this young man is sitting in custody,” Brooks’ lawyer Robert Draskovich said. “He was a victim of this offense. He wants out.”

Prosecutors said Brooks played dead after being shot inside an apartment north of downtown. He escaped as 27-year-old Alyssa Velasco was killed.

Allen and 34-year-old Terrell Stewart, who also is awaiting trial, were charged with murder in the January 2017 killings of Velasco and 33-year-old Myron Manghum.

If convicted of the killings, Allen could be sent to death row.

Brooks had promised to a Clark County district attorney’s office investigator that he would appear for Allen’s trial last month. But as lawyers in the case started to select jurors, prosecutors lost contact with Brooks, and the trial was postponed.

No future trial date is set for Allen.

Prosecutors were concerned that Brooks would not show up for another trial and had him arrested on what’s known as a “material witness warrant.”

Though prosecutors have said that Brooks remained cooperative for roughly three years while Allen remained behind bars, the witness failed to show up to court as lawyers were set to pick a jury in Allen’s trial late last month. When prosecutors asked to continue Allen’s trial, District Judge Michael Villani ordered him released on house arrest.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.