A Las Vegas man pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder for his role in a shooting that left 16-year-old Aric Brill dead nearly a decade ago.
As part of a negotiation with prosecutors, 28-year-old Nadin Hiko is expected to be sentenced to 10 to 25 years behind bars at a hearing next month.
While her son’s case remained unsolved, Karen Brill-Kelley would call police at least twice a year, checking for developments. Authorities have said her persistence kept the once-cold case on their radar.
“I’m glad he pled,” she told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday in a telephone interview. “It’s been a long time. I’m glad he pled guilty so we don’t have to go through this on and on. I’m glad he finally admitted to what he did.”
She said she had not been notified of the plea until after it occurred. Prosecutors, who declined to comment, seemed unsure whether Hiko would accept the deal until the final moments.
Brill was attacked and shot in the back of the head in 2009 outside a house party on Beesley Drive, near Charleston and Nellis boulevards.
Witnesses told police at the time that a male approached Brill and another victim, pulled out two handguns and shot them. The other victim survived.
Police have said the shooting was a random act of violence motivated by a robbery and was gang-related.
The slaying went unsolved for years before Hiko and three other men — Arthur Moore, Devonte Wash and Devon Phillips — were indicted in 2016.
Moore, Wash and Phillips are awaiting trial on charges of murder with a deadly weapon, attempted murder with a deadly weapon, assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery and robbery with a deadly weapon.
The killers got away with $20 and a broken cellphone. Brill carried only a list of books he wanted to read and things he wanted to accomplish.
Brill-Kelley said she woke up in the dark morning hours Friday, crying in anticipation of upcoming court dates for defendants in the murder case.
Her son would have turned 26 on Jan. 29, the next time Moore is scheduled to appear in court.
“It’s been hard emotionally to deal with this,” the mother said, adding that the plea offered “a little bit of peace.”
Hiko also pleaded guilty Friday to robbery in connection with a separate case.
In that case, prosecutors said he and 27-year-old Miken Wong stole a $48,000 Audemar Piguet watch, $10,000 cash and an iPhone from a man at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in March 2016.