Las Vegas defense attorney Alexis Plunkett threatened to have her former boyfriend killed behind bars, prosecutors said in court papers filed Friday urging a judge to revoke her bail.
The latest allegations further complicate Plunkett’s legal troubles, as she already faces a renewed case of providing cell phones to jailed inmates, including the former boyfriend.
In a September group text with five other attorneys, prosecutors said, Plunkett made an obscenity-laced threat against 28-year-old Andrew Arevalo, a reputed gang member with whom she was romantically involved. A screenshot of the exchange was included in the 18-page bail revocation motion.
“I’ve placed hits in every Nevada prison on Andrew with every homie and lifer I know,” Plunkett wrote, “this POS will never survive in prison now, he’s f——- with the wrong b——-. I AM NOT THE ONE. I represent ALL the surenos and he’s gonna GET IT. Delete this.”
Prosecutors have not filed charges in connection with the alleged threat.
‘I’ll take care of business first’
When another person in the group replied that Plunkett should not speak loosely about committing a felony, Plunkett responded: “I’m not joking. That’s why I said to delete it. He said he was gonna have me murdered so I’ll take care of business first.”
A Metro investigator spoke with Plunkett about the threat, according to the document, and she told him she was “venting.”
Her attorneys, Michael Becker and Adam Solinger, read the prosecution’s filing after being contacted by a Review-Journal reporter.
“The comment was made at a time when she was very upset,” Becker said. “And I would describe it as mere hyperbole. There’s a backstory I’m not at liberty to discuss, and I don’t want to litigate this case in the press.”
As recently as February, Plunkett and Arevalo were together as he graduated from a program known as Hope for Prisoners, a nonprofit organization that partners with law enforcement agencies across the state to give current and former inmates a chance to return as productive members of society.
But Arevalo, who in 2014 was shot and wounded by a Nevada High Desert State Prison guard, has since been jailed and is awaiting trial on numerous felony charges.
Plunkett represented Arevalo in his lawsuit against the Nevada Department of Corrections in connection with the shooting that left another man dead.
On Friday evening, Plunkett responded to the allegations in emails to Review-Journal.
“I still talk to Andrew Arevalo every day and will always support him, despite a concentrated campaign against us. The allegations against me are twisted, unfounded, and disturbing,” she wrote. “Put all that on the record—including that I will ALWAYS support Andrew and it’s a sick technique to use our personal relationship against us in a criminal context.”
‘Tremendously stressful situation’
“This situation has caused a tremendous amount of stress for her and also for their relationship,” Becker said. “She’s been dealing with this tremendously stressful situation for more than a year now, and it’s taken its toll, clearly.”
In her emailed response, Plunkett wrote: “This is clearly a joke, right? This is a string of ‘occurrences’ supported by little to no evidence for which any other attorney would not be judged. It boils my blood as someone who upholds and supports the law and civil rights on a daily basis.”
Last month, the Nevada Supreme Court reversed the dismissal of a 14-count indictment against Plunkett, who prosecutors said improperly provided a cellphone to inmates at the Clark County Detention Center. Plunkett has said she was in a relationship with Arevalo, who also was indicted, and that she used the cellphone to make calls regarding bail, which she believed she was authorized to do.
In Friday’s filing, prosecutors called Plunkett a danger to the community and pointed to an October arrest in North Las Vegas, where she was in the home of a man wanted on charges of attempted murder and kidnapping. Plunkett told police the man was her client.
Prosecutor Jay P. Raman also pointed to reports from court marshals that stated Plunkett was “observed acting in an odd manner” and “exhibited suspicious behavior” while interacting with in-custody criminal defendants, including one man with 44 felony convictions and another who was not her own client, whose neck she rubbed in court.
Becker called the courtroom interactions “much ado about nothing,” but the prosecutor argued that the actions were a sign of something more serious.
“Plunkett is acting in a way that is outside the scope of being a criminal defense attorney, and more as a dangerous gang affiliate,” Raman wrote. The threat of solicitation or conspiracy to commit murder is one which must not be taken lightly.”
Arevalo, meanwhile, is again behind bars at the Clark County Detention Center, where he is being held without bail, after prosecutors said he did not charge a house arrest ankle monitor and tested positive for methamphetamine.