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Driver in deadly crash previously beat man in car keys dispute

Updated September 22, 2020 - 7:21 am

A Las Vegas man charged in a deadly wrong-way crash on U.S. Highway 95 was previously convicted of a violent attack in an argument over his access to car keys while he was intoxicated, according to court records.

Benjamin Ames, 32, is charged in Henderson Justice Court with driving under the influence causing death and multiple other felonies in the Sept. 11 crash on the highway at Russell Road. The Nevada Highway Patrol said Ames was driving a Hummer the wrong way in the southbound lanes of U.S. Highway 95 — at speeds approaching 100 mph — when the vehicle slammed into a car driven by 58-year-old Susan Teves of Las Vegas.

Teves died at the scene.

Ames’ blood alcohol content was measured at 0.24 percent at the time of the crash. The legal limit in Nevada is 0.08 percent.

Was on probation for assault

Court records show that at the time of the crash Ames was on probation after pleading guilty in June to assault with use of a deadly weapon and battery constituting domestic violence. District Court records show Ames attacked a man on Jan. 2 at a Las Vegas residence when the man wouldn’t hand over a set of vehicle keys to Ames.

“The altercation became physical when (the victim) refused to give Mr. Ames the vehicle keys,” according to a sentencing memorandum in the case. “Thereafter, Mr. Ames struck (the victim) in the chest and head with the barrel and butt of a gun, struck him with his fist and a dog collar, and attempted to restrain (the victim) by way of chokehold.”

The victim in the case escaped. Ames barricaded himself in the home, prompting a significant police response. He eventually surrendered and was described as intoxicated at the time.

Began treatment

Ames, according to court records, entered treatment for substance abuse and was placed on probation while receiving a suspended sentence of 12 to 48 months in prison. Authorities are now seeking to revoke his probation in the prior case.

His next appearance in Henderson Justice Court is scheduled for Sept. 29.

Contact Glenn Puit by email at gpuit@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.

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