The stabbing of a California tourist in an elevator at The Hotel at Mandalay Bay last month was described as vicious and severe by police.
However, an inaudible security video of the stabbing shows the two men arrested were acting in self-defense, their defense lawyers said.
The names of the victims have not been released by police.
The video was played for Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Conrad Hafen during a bail motion Friday.
The confrontation happened just before 2 a.m. on Feb. 16 when Trent Wilcox, 25, and Carlos Heredia-Avalos, 23, both of Las Vegas, entered an elevator with a couple.
“Neither of the two defendants did anything to either of them (the couple) until they were attacked,” defense attorney Monti Levy said.
An argument appeared to ensue as Wilcox and Heredia-Avalos reached the floor where they were to attend a birthday party. As both men got off the elevator, the woman in the elevator kicked and pushed Wilcox.
She said something to Wilcox, who got back on the elevator. Heredia-Avalos hesitated but returned at Wilcox’s insistence. Heredia-Avalos showed a small blade he was carrying.
The elevator continued to the couple’s floor. Wilcox chugged a bottle of liquor until it was empty, and the verbal confrontation continued.
The woman pushed and kicked Wilcox again as she got off the elevator. The man stayed on the elevator before his wife pulled him by the arm and he stumbled out.
More comments were exchanged between Wilcox and the woman as the doors of the elevator began to close. She then reopened the doors and said something more to Wilcox.
Her husband charged back into the elevator, where the suspects were, with his hands extended in front of him.
Wilcox put him in a chokehold, and Heredia-Avalos stabbed both the man and Wilcox multiple times.
The wife had followed her husband onto the elevator, and as Wilcox and the man fell to the floor, she pushed the emergency button. Hotel security arrested the suspects.
The man was taken to University Medical Center, where he was treated and released.
The wife told Las Vegas police Wilcox and Heredia-Avalos tried to intimidate them and swore at her. She said the defendants were going to follow the couple to their room, according to a police report.
Defense lawyers Levy and Martin Hart asked Hafen on Friday to lower the bail of their clients based on the video.
Heredia-Avalos and Wilcox are each being held on $250,000 bail on attempted murder charges.
Hafen ruled that the defendants should remain jailed on that bail pending a preliminary hearing next week.
The judge said the two defendants should not have gotten back on the elevator the first time.
“These defendants could have clearly walked away,” Hafen said.
The judge noted that Wilcox had a previous marijuana conviction and Heredia-Avalos has an immigration hold.
“I believe a picture shows 1,000 words. Evidently the court did not agree with what I saw,” Hart said.
A preliminary hearing is set for Wednesday, at which prosecutors will have to show they have enough evidence to take the case to trial.