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Las Vegas man arrested in 1996 killing of pregnant woman

Updated August 19, 2020 - 3:54 pm

On Valentine’s Day in 1996, a pregnant teenager sat at a slot machine inside an east Las Vegas 7-Eleven, waiting for her husband’s shift to end, when two armed robbers disguised in women’s clothing entered the convenience store. The teen and her unborn son were killed.

It would be more than 24 years before Las Vegas police identified the suspects.

On July 23, the Las Vegas Review-Journal has learned, Anthony Williams and Kareem Brock were formally charged with murder, manslaughter by killing an unborn quick child, robbery, burglary and conspiracy to commit robbery.

State law defines the charge of “killing of unborn quick child” as a killing “by any injury committed upon the mother of the child.”

It wasn’t clear how the men were linked to the case, but Williams, a 48-year-old Las Vegas man with a lengthy criminal history, was arrested Saturday. His alleged co-conspirator remained at large Wednesday, according to jail and court records.

Williams’ criminal history in Clark County dates to at least 1991, when he was convicted of conspiracy to commit grand larceny. He was 19 at the time.

His other convictions throughout the years, according to court records, include battery with a deadly weapon, violation of a temporary protection order, felon in possession of a firearm, burglary, possession of a controlled substance and discharging a firearm into a structure or vehicle. The records show he had been serving time in a state prison as recently as 2018.

For years, the 1996 Valentine’s Day killing had been featured on the Metropolitan Police Department’s list of cold cases, and weeks after the robbery, with no leads, Metro offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.

According to Metro, the robbery unfolded just before 12:45 a.m. inside the 7-Eleven at Bonanza and Pecos roads. The victim, identified as 19-year-old Sara Keynejad, was six months pregnant.

One of the suspects was armed with a long gun and the other with a handgun.

As the man armed with the long gun entered the store, “he turned with no warning and fired one shot at the victim,” according to Metro. The men made off with $50, according to Review-Journal stories at the time.

Keynejad died at University Medical Center of a gunshot wound that entered her chest, traveled into her abdomen and struck the fetus, the Clark County coroner’s office ruled.

The woman’s grandmother, Patricia Bransom, told the Review-Journal in 1996 that Keynejad and her unborn son, who she had planned to name Tyler Matthew, were buried in the same casket in Big Bear City, California.

“She was thrilled beyond belief to be having the baby and so excited it was a boy,” Bransom said at the time.

Keynejad and her husband, identified by Bransom as Justin Snyder, had been married a short time and had moved to Las Vegas from Southern California about a year before the robbery. Efforts to reach Snyder on Wednesday were unsuccessful, and public records indicate that Bransom died before she could see her granddaughter’s case solved.

Williams’ preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 2 in Las Vegas Justice Court.

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

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