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Woman charged in random Las Vegas killing to undergo competency evaluation

Updated April 4, 2024 - 2:14 pm

A woman accused of randomly killing a worker in a west valley apartment complex last month was ordered to undergo a competency evaluation.

Justice of the Peace Ann Zimmerman approved the order during a Thursday hearing in which Kayla Alery, 27, made a brief appearance, shackled in blue jail garb.

“Ms. Alery, your attorney would like to have you evaluated by a doctor to make sure that you can help him defend the case,” Zimmerman said about Chief Deputy Special Public Defender James Ruggeroli.

Alery was charged with murder and gun-related counts, as well as a parole violation, records show.

After the evaluation, Alery is due for a competency hearing on April 24, records show. While in custody, she picked up a felony charge of battery by a prisoner.

Alery told Metropolitan Police Department detectives that she suffered from schizophrenia and didn’t remember shooting anyone, according to her arrest report.

Police allege she killed 41-year-old Raul Cardoza, who was sitting in a work van next to his brother.

The lone gunshot was fired in broad daylight March 26 in the Venicia Apartments in the 3600 block of South Fort Apache Road near West Twain Avenue.

Police said Alery was being escorted by complex staff after she’d been reported to have been trying to open car doors.

On her way out, according to police, she fired into Cardoza’s carpet-cleaning van.

Cardoza, a native of El Salvador, died at University Medical Center, police said.

Cardoza and his brother were veteran employees of Immaculate Restoration and Carpet Care in Las Vegas, whose owner described the victim as “our most beloved guy.”

The death has left family reeling and raising funds for a funeral. A confirmed GoFundMe campaign had raised nearly $7,000 of its $10,000 goal as of Thursday.

“He was an incredible person who worked extremely hard and left this world, leaving behind a void that can never be filled,” one of his two daughters wrote.

A benefit car wash, at 235 N. Eastern Ave., will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Contact Ricardo Torres-Cortez at rtorres@reviewjournal.com.

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