Suspect charged in death of man found after fire

A 42-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the slaying and robbery of a man who was found dead in his condo after a fire in late February, a Las Vegas police report obtained Monday said.

Patrick Wilcock was booked Friday into the Clark County Detention Center on the recommended charges of murder with a deadly weapon and robbery with a deadly weapon.

Police accuse Wilcock of fatally shooting James Lacella, who was found dead in his condo at 1309 Del Mar St., near Tropicana and Eastern avenues, after a fire on Feb. 25.

According to the report, Lacella’s autopsy showed the man was already dead and his body decomposed before the fire. A forensic pathologist determined Lacella was fatally shot. During their investigation, police determined that some items had been stolen from Lacella including a Sony Playstation 3, two game controllers, a charging tower and between 20 and 30 games.

The report said a former roommate of Lacella identified Wilcock as one of the last people to be with Lacella. He also told police Wilcock had received a handgun from a mutual female friend. When police spoke with Wilcock, he denied receiving a gun.

Police spoke with a woman who told investigators Wilcock had given her a gun but then returned and took the handgun back. He told her that his girlfriend’s dog was hit by a car and that he needed it to put it out of its misery.

Investigators obtained a search warrant for Wilcock’s home, where they found keys to Lacella’s Ford Ranger in a large garbage can, the report said.

Detectives also learned that Wilcock had pawned a Sony Playstation 3 console, two controllers, a charging tower and 23 games, the report said.

The items’ serial numbers matched Lacella’s missing items.

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