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$1.6M settlement reached over inmate killed in state prison

The family of an inmate who was shot and killed by a corrections officer at a prison outside Las Vegas in 2014 has reached a $1.6 million settlement with the state almost a decade after his death, an attorney for the family said.

Carlos Manuel Perez Jr., 28, died on Nov. 12, 2014, while he was serving an 18- to 48-month sentence for battery at High Desert State Prison, in Indian Springs, which is about a 30 minute drive northwest of Las Vegas.

The state Department of Corrections initially said nothing about the circumstances of Perez’s death. It only became publicly known that he had been killed by a guard four months later, in March 2015, when the Clark County coroner’s office revealed that Perez had been shot in the head, chest, neck and arm and that his death was a homicide.

According to a lawsuit filed by Perez’s family in 2015, prison guards allowed a fight to break out between a handcuffed Perez and another handcuffed inmate, Andrew Arevalo, 24, in a section of the prison called “the hole” in which inmates were not allowed to be out of their cells at the same time as other inmates.

The Perez family alleged in the lawsuit that when the two inmates started yelling at and kicking each other, corrections officers who were there “refused to intervene,” leading to what the family called a “gladiator-like scenario.”

One corrections officer then ordered another officer who was armed with a shotgun to open fire, according to the lawsuit. The officer fired four times with his shotgun, killing Perez, the family has alleged. Arevalo was also shot and wounded.

On Monday, federal Magistrate Judge Daniel J. Albregts heard from both sides in court, and the settlement was reached, according to court records.

“What it does is it gives value to his life,” said Paola M. Armeni, a lawyer for the Perez family.

The settlement now must be approved by the state’s Board of Examiners, which consists of Gov. Joe Lombardo, Attorney General Aaron Ford and Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar, for approval.

The settlement also includes a letter of apology from the State of Nevada, Armeni said.

Contact Brett Clarkson at bclarkson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BrettClarkson_ on Twitter.

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