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Suspect pleads not guilty in stabbings that left 2 dead near UNLV

Updated September 29, 2022 - 12:01 pm

A 33-year-old man charged in a series of stabbings near UNLV pleaded not guilty on Thursday.

Christopher Martell has been charged with two counts of murder with a deadly weapon and two counts of attempted murder with a deadly weapon. He is accused of stabbing four homeless people, including two who died in the attacks surrounding the university.

Jody Devries, 57, was found dead with multiple stab wounds Sept. 14 near the door of a church on the 1400 block of East University Avenue, near Maryland Parkway and Harmon Avenue, according to the Clark County coroner’s office. Six days later, Mary Susan Miller, 74, was found dead from multiple stab wounds near East Flamingo Road and Algonquin Drive.

Martell was arrested Sept. 21 after police found him at the scene of another stabbing that left a man and woman in critical condition on the 2000 block of East Flamingo Road, the Metropolitan Police Department has said.

The woman, who was in her 30s, suffered a cut on her left arm and stab wounds to her chest and neck, according to Martell’s arrest report. The man was stabbed twice in the back.

Witnesses told police that a man carrying a “combat style knife” pulled the male victim out of his wheelchair during the attack, and stabbed the woman as she was lying on the sidewalk.

Metro Lt. Jason Johansson has said the assailant used the same knife in all four attacks, but it was unclear why he was targeting homeless people. Martell had an 8-to-10-inch Wartech knife in a black plastic sheath when he was arrested, police said.

On Thursday, Justice of the Peace Eric Goodman ordered Martell to appear in court again on Oct. 12. Mace Yampolsky was appointed by the court to act as Martell’s attorney.

The defendant continued to be held in the Clark County Detention Center without bail. Attorneys have not yet had a hearing to address whether he should be granted bail.

Martell also was in court on Thursday in a separate case, in which he pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge. Court records show that a citation was filed on June 20, but a bench warrant was issued when he failed to appear in court.

He has a third active case in which he faces two gross misdemeanor counts of injuring or tampering with a vehicle, a gross misdemeanor count of destroying another’s property, and a misdemeanor count of engaging in lewd conduct in a public place, court records show. A criminal complaint has not been filed in that case.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_nebwerg on Twitter.

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