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Prosecutors weigh self-defense claim in deadly road rage crash

The Clark County district attorney’s office is working to determine if two people detained this week after a road-rage crash that left a 73-year-old man dead will face criminal charges, Las Vegas police said.

Marlin Smith, 73, died Wednesday morning after he was struck by a Chevy Suburban on Tuesday afternoon at East Desert Inn Road and Boulder Highway during a fight sparked by road rage, police said.

Two people were detained after the fight, but during interviews with police, “statements of self-defense were made that required additional investigation,” Metropolitan Police Department homicide Lt. Ray Spencer said.

“According to the suspect, the victim was armed with a knife during the incident,” Spencer said to the Review-Journal. “Evidence was located that potentially corroborates the suspect’s account.”

Police submitted the case to the Clark County district attorney’s office for review.

District Attorney Steve Wolfson did not respond to request for comment.

Witnesses told detectives that the driver of the Suburban cut off Smith’s Jeep on Desert Inn. When Smith honked his horn, and a passenger in the Suburban got out of the car and threw a beer can at the Jeep, Spencer said.

A fight then broke out between Smith and the passenger from the SUV, Spencer said.

The passenger then got back into the SUV, and the driver ran over Smith, then drove over a median and left the scene, Spencer said. Officers later detained two people, whom police have not identified.

Smith’s family declined to comment when reached Friday afternoon.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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