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Death penalty possible for suspect in Las Vegas tourist killings

Updated October 25, 2018 - 7:00 pm

Prosecutors could seek the death penalty for a man accused of killing two Vietnamese tourists in a Las Vegas Strip hotel room.

Julius Trotter, 31, was indicted Thursday on two counts of murder, two counts of robbery and one count of burglary in connection with the June 1 killings of 38-year-old Sang Boi Nghia and 30-year-old Khuong Ba Le Nguyen, who were part of a tour group visiting Las Vegas.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Michelle Fleck said that authorities found credit cards and other items belonging to the two with Trotter when he was arrested in California days after the killings.

Details of the allegations are expected to be analyzed by prosecutors with the death penalty review committee within 30 days of the indictment, Fleck said.

After the tourists were found dead in their Circus Circus room, hotel engineers tested the door’s latch plate and determined it was “broken,” according to a Metropolitan Police Department arrest warrant. The engineers ran several tests and found the door wouldn’t “properly” close on its own, the police report said, indicating that the door could have easily been pushed open.

Police said at the time that the killer walked from door to door to see which were open and that there were no signs of forced entry to the tourists’ room inside the hotel at 2880 Las Vegas Boulevard South.

Fleck said Trotter was spotted on hotel security footage in the early morning hours of June 1 carrying one of the victims’ backpacks, before meeting with a woman and later checking into a room at the Palms, 4321 W. Flamingo Road.

Trotter used a player’s card in his name, and officers matched a previous booking photo and Palms security video to the man they saw on the Circus Circus footage, authorities have said.

Trotter previously was convicted of resisting an officer with a deadly weapon after a Jan. 14, 2017, traffic stop, court records show. He pleaded guilty to the charge after he drove away from a traffic stop and dragged an officer 75 feet, according to a separate arrest warrant.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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