Updated May 18, 2022 - 8:41 pm
Nine years ago this week, 15-year-old Marcos Arenas was run over and killed while trying to recover his cherished iPad that had been wrenched from his grasp.
Jacob Dismont, who took the iPad from the teenager, and Michael Solid, who was convicted of running over and killing Arenas, were both sentenced to prison on murder charges in 2016. But because of what Arenas’ father called a “technicality” in Solid’s case, the teenager’s family is back in court this week for a retrial.
“We are sitting here today and getting ready to relive this nightmare,” Arenas’ father, 44-year-old Ivan Arenas, said Wednesday before opening statements began in Solid’s retrial.
Court records show that in 2018, the Nevada Supreme Court reversed Solid’s conviction of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and robbery.
Solid, 30, went to trial in August 2016 shortly after Dismont pleaded guilty to second-degree murder with use of a deadly weapon, robbery with use of a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery.
In Solid’s appeal, defense attorneys wrote that the District Court had refused to conduct a hearing on why Black people were underrepresented on the jury panel.
Of the 100 jury questionnaires completed, only four were from Black people, court records show. During jury selection, former District Judge Valerie Adair dismissed one of the potential jurors, who was Black, before hearing an objection from defense attorneys.
The Supreme Court found that the juror’s dismissal “constitutes structural error,” court records show.
In 2016, Dismont was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison, while Solid was sentenced to 30 years to life.
Marcos Arenas, a Las Vegas High School student, was walking near his northwest valley home around 3 p.m. on May 16, 2013, when he encountered Dismont. When Dismont tried to rob Marcos, prosecutors have said, the teenager clung onto his iPad with all his strength.
Ivan Arenas’ testified in the 2016 trial that he had taken out a payday loan to buy the iPad about a month before as Marcos’ birthday gift and reward for doing well in school.
Dismont wrestled the iPad away and jumped into the Ford Explorer, where Solid was in the driver’s seat. Marcos flung himself onto the vehicle but was dragged, ran over and killed, prosecutors have said.
He suffered a collapsed lung, lacerated liver, lacerated pancreas and a skull fracture.
Marcos had spent the summer before his death lifting weights with his dad, dreaming of being a professional football player. He would be 24 if he were alive today, Ivan Arenas said.
Ivan Arenas, whose family and friends packed the courtroom on Wednesday, said he wants people to remember his son “as the angel he was.”
“He was always there for the underdog,” he said. “He was always willing to help the next person.”