A man accused of fatally shooting his father last month appeared Wednesday in North Las Vegas court.
Michael Jamerson Jr., 32, stood in dark blue Clark County Detention Center garb at his arraignment hearing in Justice Court while roughly a dozen of his relatives watched from the courtroom’s front row. He was denied bail and advised of his charges of murder and burglary, each with a deadly weapon.
Jamerson’s father, Michael Jamerson, 48, was found dead of a single gunshot wound to the head May 14 inside his home on the 4900 block of Harold Street, near Lone Mountain Road and Bruce Street.
North Las Vegas police identified his oldest son, Jamerson Jr., as a suspect in the killing and arrested him last week. Police think Jamerson was ambushed by someone who knew the layout of the house, Jamerson and his schedule, according to Jamerson Jr.’s arrest report.
Jamerson Jr.’s attorney, Dan Winder, said he plans to “vigorously” defend his client and enter a not guilty plea.
“We want to gather all the evidence and hope the public doesn’t rush to judgment before there’s been a determination of all the facts,” Winder said outside the courtroom.
There is a divide among Jamerson family members as to whether they think the son is responsible for his father’s death, Winder said.
Regardless, the case has taken a toll on the family, said Jamerson Jr.’s cousin, Jimmy Foster Jr.
“Everybody’s devastated,” Foster said. “We never thought we would be here today for something like this.”
Some family and associates had suggested to North Las Vegas police that Jamerson Jr. was a suspect, saying he was expecting to inherit the home and proceeds of multiple life insurance policies, his arrest report said. Others, like his cousin, Foster, who grew up with Jamerson Jr. at their grandmother’s home, were more skeptical.
The arrest report indicated that Jamerson Jr. didn’t live with his father much growing up. Court documents show his father was arrested on a child abuse charge in 2000, but he pleaded guilty to a count of disorderly conduct. A police report at the time alleged that Jamerson hit his son with a belt and put his hands around his throat.
Foster denied Jamerson Jr. had a contentious relationship with his father and doubted that prior abuse would drive his cousin to take Jamerson’s life.
“There’s no reason for him to do anything like that,” Foster said.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. June 19.