weather icon Partly Cloudy

Man jailed in Las Vegas in homeless woman’s death, sexual assault

Updated November 27, 2018 - 5:15 pm

The Section 8 apartment where Kelly Deanne Kazoon was sexually assaulted and strangled Saturday should have been inaccessible.

“We thought we locked it. We usually secure our property,” Genesis Realty Group broker Artur Terabelian told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Tuesday. “It’s really unfortunate. I don’t understand why it happened because no one was supposed to be there.”

Terabelian added that there were no signs of forced entry at the apartment in the 2900 block of Juniper Hill Boulevard.

On Monday, the Metropolitan Police Department arrested Charles Thomas Talley Jr., 50, on charges of sexual assault and murder in Kazoon’s death. The department released information about the killing Tuesday, when it announced the arrest.

Terabelian said Talley and Kazoon had entered the unit Saturday through the balcony. The locks to the apartment had been changed Nov. 21, he said.

About 3:30 p.m. Saturday, there was a knock at Edward Heidema’s front door, he told the Review-Journal. Heidema, who was home at the time with his sister, shares a downstairs apartment with her and their parents.

When his sister answered the door, he said, she found their former upstairs neighbor naked and covered with what appeared to be blood. She then called 911, Heidema said.

His sister declined to speak to the newspaper Tuesday.

When Metro officers arrived, Heidema and his family directed them to the second-floor unit above them. Police said Talley answered the door and allowed officers inside, where they found Kazoon, 55, severely injured in the living room.

She was taken to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead Saturday evening. Kazoon died of strangulation, with multiple blunt force injuries contributing to her death, according to the coroner’s office.

Homicide detectives have determined that Talley and Kazoon knew each other, but they have provided no other details on their relationship. Talley’s arrest report had not been released by the Las Vegas Justice Court as of Tuesday afternoon. Police described Kazoon as homeless.

Three days after the killing, remnants of a homicide investigation could be seen at the apartment complex near East Vegas Valley Drive and Nellis Boulevard.

Just outside Heidema’s front door was leftover crime tape tied to the handrail of the stairs leading to the upstairs apartment, where a broken red seal on the front door could be seen above a lock box. On the cement staircase was a dried blood trail.

Police described Talley as a recently evicted resident of the apartment, but neither Terabelian nor the the apartment owner was familiar with Talley’s name until the killing. Terabelian said the apartment was leased to a woman named Delores Howard for the better part of the past year.

“If he was staying there, we didn’t know about it,” Terabelian said.

The property manager noted that Howard would have been in violation of her Section 8 housing conditions by allowing Talley to stay with her. Section 8 refers to a government program that provides low-income housing.

Managers of the complex were preparing to evict Howard, but she surrendered the property before the realty group started the official eviction process. By the time the company had changed the locks last week, Terabelian said, the apartment was empty.

Civil court records show that Talley and Howard had been evicted from a different property together in January 2017.

Heidema said his sister and parents have lived in the complex for several years and knew the suspect. Heidema moved in with his relatives recently.

“We’re all OK,” he told the Review-Journal on Tuesday.

Kazoon’s death is the 196th homicide this year in Clark County and the 148th homicide investigated by Metro, according to records maintained by the Review-Journal.

The suspect was being held without bail Tuesday at the Clark County Detention Center on sexual assault and murder charges as well as unrelated drug charges, jail records show. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 3.

Anyone with information about the killing of Kazoon may contact Metro’s homicide section at 702-828-3521 or Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.

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

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.