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Las Vegas attorney accused of giving cellphone to inmates

Updated May 22, 2017 - 9:15 pm

A Las Vegas criminal defense attorney is facing multiple felony counts after authorities accused her of providing at least one cellphone to inmates at the Clark County Detention Center.

According to a criminal complaint, Alexis Plunkett allowed two inmates to “possess or control a cellphone” at the jail.

On Tuesday, a judge is scheduled to decide whether to sign an arrest warrant for 36-year-old Plunkett, who represents an inmate injured in the 2014 shooting at High Desert State Prison.

But her attorney, Robert Langford, also has filed a motion asking the same judge to allow Plunkett to surrender to the jail and be released on her own recognizance.

Defense lawyers often bring phones into the jail, signing documentation that states they will use the phones for purposes related to the case on which they are working.

“We’re going to maintain that she was using her cellphone appropriate to the agreement,” Langford said. Through her lawyer, Plunkett declined to comment.

Plunkett, a 10-year resident of Nevada, is in good standing with the State Bar of Nevada and runs a “thriving practice with numerous clients accused of serious felony crimes,” Langford wrote in court papers.

Since being charged, Plunkett has agreed to visit her clients only through a video conference, according to Langford’s motion.

Plunkett faces 12 counts of unlawful possession of a portable telecommunication device by a felony jail prisoner, which is a felony offense, and two gross misdemeanor counts of conspiracy.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson declined to comment on the charges.

Andrew Arevalo, Plunkett’s client who was injured in the 2014 prison shooting that left another man dead, faces similar charges. Another inmate, identified in a criminal complaint as Rogelio Estrada and Rogelio Estradasalcedo, is charged with one count of conspiracy and four counts of possession of a phone by a prisoner.

During a series of visits at the jail in April, Plunkett provided Arevalo, who is being held at the jail on $200,000 bail, with a cellphone, according to the complaint. In late April and early May, Plunkett also provided a cellphone to Estrada, the complaint alleges.

Former corrections officer trainee Raynaldo Ramos was charged in April 2016 in the death of Carlos Perez, 28, who was shot and killed while handcuffed behind his back during a fight with Arevalo on Nov. 12, 2014.

Arevalo was shot in the face and survived.

Perez died at the scene, and the Nevada Department of Corrections reported the death the next day. But the fact that Perez was shot by staff was not revealed until four months later, when the Clark County coroner said he died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head, neck and chest and ruled his death a homicide.

Arevalo has filed a federal lawsuit against the prison and others, including James Cox, the former director of the prison, and Ramos, who is awaiting a criminal trial on an involuntary manslaughter charge.

Plunkett earned her law degree from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, according to her firm’s website. She has worked for public defender’s offices in Clark County, Arizona and Colorado. She has been licensed to practice law in Nevada since 2009.

The attorney worked in private practice in Las Vegas for several years before launching her own firm, which concentrates on criminal defense, civil rights and plaintiff personal injury litigation.

“Her true measure of success is the satisfaction of her clients and the defense of their rights,” the site states.

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

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