Las Vegas judge wants jury to decide fatal crash case

A jury should decide whether a drunken driving suspect was behind the wheel when two people were killed last month in a west valley crash, a Las Vegas judge decided Monday.

Henry Aparicio’s lawyer argued during a preliminary hearing that the 23-year-old was not driving when a Mercedes-Benz C250 speeding east on West Sahara Avenue crashed into the back of a Toyota Prius stopped at a red light, killing Jean residents Damaso Puente, 39, and Christa Puente, 33, on May 15.

But Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Suzan Baucum found “slight or marginal evidence” to support three counts of driving under the influence and three counts of reckless driving.

“I believe that there are definitely some facts that need to be decided by a jury,” Baucum said.

Aparicio’s attorney, Damian Sheets, argued that arriving officers found him on the ground next to the passenger side of the vehicle after the crash. He also has said that a third person could have been in the car and fled the scene before officers arrived.

Aparicio remains held on $500,000 bail.

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

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