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Suspect in 2016 slaying in Las Vegas returned to face murder charge

Updated November 17, 2021 - 2:27 pm

A suspect has been arrested in the 2016 point-blank slaying of a man inside his car in central Las Vegas, according to Metropolitan Police Department records.

Percellus Jones, 21, appeared in Las Vegas Justice Court Tuesday morning after being transferred to Clark County from Southern California on Monday. No bail was set, and he remained in custody at the Clark County Detention Center on one count of murder, jail logs show.

Police responded on April 27, 2016, to the Shadow Ridge Apartment Homes at 3200 Arville St., south of Desert Inn Road, and found 27-year-old Merral Errik-Lynbert Stowe wounded in his Nissan Altima.

The car was still running, and a gun belt around his waist had an empty holster, leading investigators to believe that the “killer likely stole his gun,” police said.

Two years later, the FBI determined that handprints taken from the car belonged to Jones, police said.

Jones, who was 15 at the time of the slaying, was questioned by Metro homicide detectives in a California jail in summer 2019 after being arrested on counts of robbery with a deadly weapon and kidnapping in Rancho Cucamonga, California,

Jones first told detectives he was unaware of the killing but then said that he was drinking with Stowe when the victim was shot, police said.

Jones said both men were sitting in the car when someone reached in the passenger’s side with a long-barrel pistol and opened fire, striking Stowe, who was in the driver’s seat, according to police.

Next, the shooter pointed the gun at Jones and pulled the trigger, but the gun “jammed,” he told detectives.

Jones said that after the gunman left, he grabbed the bottle of alcohol he had been sharing with Stowe and returned to his apartment in the complex.

A security guard, not Jones, reported the shooting about 12:20 a.m. Stowe died at University Medical Center, police said.

In a follow-up interview with Jones weeks later, detectives suggested the legal system might offer leniency if he admitted to the shooting because he was a minor when it occurred, police said.

Near the end of the interview, detectives told Jones that the victim “had a young daughter when this occurred and she deserved some closure, and if he was involved he should do the right thing,” police said.

As detectives were driving back to Las Vegas, California police contacted them saying Jones had asked if what they told him about leniency was true.

On Nov. 7, 2019, Las Vegas police acquired a murder warrant that named Jones.

The court records do not detail what led to Jones’ transfer to Clark County.

Contact Ricardo Torres-Cortez at rtorres@reviewjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @rickytwrites.

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