A witness in the murder trial of 32-year-old Kurtis Richards testified Thursday in Clark County District Court.
The witness’ friend, Daniel Contreras, was fatally shot Oct. 23 in a vacant northeast valley home. A week later, the witness testified, she was kidnapped for nearly 24 hours, beaten and sexually assaulted.
“That’s why they took me in the first place,” the witness said. “They wanted me to stay quiet.”
She told jurors that when she saw Richards in the trailer where she was held captive, he told her, “I might have to keep you.”
“I started crying and I told him no, that I wouldn’t talk, that I wouldn’t say anything,” said the witness, whom the Review-Journal is not identifying because she is a victim of sexual assault.
The witness and Contreras, 35, had gone to a house to smoke methamphetamine, according to Richards’ arrest report. Richards came to the house, pulled out a gun and demanded “the stuff,” the report said.
Contreras fought Richards as the witness ran out the door, the report said. That’s when she heard three gunshots.
‘I started crying’
A week after the shooting at the home on the 5800 block of East Carey Avenue, the witness learned that Contreras was dead. She decided to move home and tell her mom what happened, she testified.
The day she was supposed to meet her mother, the witness said, she was approached by a drug dealer who asked if she wanted to get high one last time.
They drove with another woman, Trinity Wallman, to Wallman’s trailer, the witness said.
As she walked up the stairs, she was hit in the back of the head and knocked to the floor, she told jurors.
Wallman kicked and stomped her body, face and neck, the witness said.
Using a pellet gun, Wallman shot her three times in the back of the head, once in her right arm and once in her left thigh, according to an arrest report.
“She said that they should rape me,” the witness testified. “I started crying and telling them that I had an STD so they wouldn’t.”
There were five people in the trailer, and they threatened her with a sword, a knife and an axe, she told jurors. She said she was forced to perform a sex act on one of the men in the trailer.
Eventually, the witness was released and told by her abductors not to talk to police.
On Nov. 2, she went to St. Rose Dominican Hospital, Siena campus, where she spoke to police, an arrest report said.
“Did they show you a photo of ‘Keys?’” Chief Deputy District Attorney Jacqueline Bluth asked her Thursday, referring to Richards’ nickname.
They did, the witness said.
“Did you identify him as the individual who had the gun?”
“Yes,” she replied.
Cross-examination of the witness and closing arguments in the trial are expected Friday.
Contact Briana Erickson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5244. Follow @brianarerick on Twitter.5800 East Carey Avenue, Las Vegas, NV