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Police: Woman intentionally struck, killed boyfriend with car amid fight

Updated May 29, 2024 - 7:18 pm

A Las Vegas woman faces a murder charge after police allege she intentionally struck her boyfriend with her car, according to court records.

Metropolitan Police Department officers were called Friday evening to a neighborhood at 17th Street and Bonita Avenue.

Police said officers spotted Julie Bush leaning over her injured boyfriend on a sidewalk, according to her arrest report.

Richard Penardo Jr., 51, died in a hospital a day later, police and the Clark County coroner’s office said.

In an interview with investigators, Bush said that the confrontation — which police described as a “domestic dispute” — began when she drove the victim back home from a drug test for his job.

Bush, 30, told police that she found another woman’s tampons in Penardo’s trash and confronted him about it, her arrest report said.

Bush then told officers that Penardo tried to convince her they were hers.

At some point, Bush got in her car and Penardo retrieved a long steel chain he began swinging at the vehicle, police said.

She alleged the man had broken her windows, according to police.

That’s when, Bush told police, she put the car in drive and “forgot she had the steering wheel cranked all the way to the right.”

Bush accelerated and hit Penardo, police said. The arrest report said she had minor injuries to her hands from purportedly climbing out of her car to check on him.

In an interview with detectives, Bush said the couple fought often and “should not have been together.”

Upon police finding drug paraphernalia, Bush said that she had taken drugs hours before the confrontation.

Police said surveillance footage showed Bush trying to hit him with the car before he swung the chain, the report said.

Bush was initially booked on counts of DUI resulting in severe bodily harm, attempted murder, and domestic battery, records show.

Penardo previously served time in prison on charges of conspiracy to commit murder, forgery, insurance fraud and accessory to felony, court records show.

When faced with charges of conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Maria Marino, his ex-wife’s sister, Penardo took an Alford plea, which allows a defendant to admit only that prosecutors had enough evidence to prove the charge.

Records show Bush is due in court Thursday morning. She is being held with no bail.

Contact Estelle Atkinson at eatkinson@reviewjournal.com.

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