Updated July 10, 2020 - 10:34 am
The Nye County district attorney’s office has charged a Pahrump man with murder in the death of a Las Vegas man he allegedly conspired to commit an armed robbery with, even though he didn’t fire the fatal shot.
The district attorney’s office announced in a news release Thursday that Nickolas Vonalst, 20, has been charged with four counts: murder; robbery with a deadly weapon; battery with a deadly weapon; and destroying evidence, which is a gross misdemeanor.
Vonalst is accused of conspiring with 22-year-old Kyle Bickerstaff to rob a 17-year-old boy early June 24 near a Nye County School District Transportation Services bus yard in Pahrump.
During the robbery, Vonalst and Bickerstaff pistol-whipped the teenager, and when Bickerstaff pointed a gun at the 17-year-old, the teenager fatally shot the Las Vegas man, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office has said.
“Based on Nevada’s felony murder rule, you can be charged with murder if you commit an armed robbery and your accomplice gets killed,” Nye County District Attorney Chris Arabia said in the Thursday release. “Armed robbery puts lives in danger, and not only the people being robbed but also bystanders and sometimes even the robbers themselves.”
The Sheriff’s Office announced Vonalst’s arrest on July 1 and said that after the shooting he initially gave police “false statements” claiming a gold sedan was involved in the shooting.
Monika Gonzalez, 47, was also arrested and faces a charge of aiding a felony offender. Gonzalez allegedly gave a handgun involved in the shooting to another person “and asked them to get rid of it,” Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Ann Horak has said.
The 17-year-old was initially arrested on suspicion of murder, but deputies determined he “acted in self-defense, and the murder charge has not been pursued,” Horak said in a video release July 1.
The teenager could face “either juvenile or adult weapons charges and/or other charges,” and additional charges or defendants could be added to the case, the district attorney’s office said Thursday.
Vonalst is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on July 22 in Pahrump Justice Court.