Court claim puts attention on Las Vegas shooter’s girlfriend

Updated January 16, 2018 - 8:21 pm

After lawyers for police claimed in court Tuesday that charges may be filed in the Las Vegas Strip shooting, legal observers questioned whether the gunman’s girlfriend is unfairly being singled out.

Marilou Danley was initially considered a person of interest after her boyfriend, Stephen Paddock, opened fire on a concert on Oct. 1 from his 32nd-floor Mandalay Bay room, killing 58 people before fatally shooting himself. But she agreed to cooperate and has publicly said she had no knowledge of his horrific plans.

“It’s a very bold statement to say that criminal charges are going to be filed in this case when the only person whose name or inference has been put in the news is his girlfriend,” Las Vegas attorney Craig Drummond said. “I would hope they’re going to back it up. If they don’t, it will incite all of these conspiracy theorists even more.”

Drummond said it is possible authorities are looking at other people who may have not followed proper procedures when selling firearms to Stephen Paddock or others who may have helped him modify some of the weapons.

Defense lawyer Robert Langford speculated that if Danley knew of Paddock’s plans and somehow aided or abetted his actions, she would already have been charged.

But he added, “If she somehow told a different story than what was true, it could be deemed obstruction if it slowed them down.”

Attorney Chris Oram said that if Danley lied to authorities or destroyed potential evidence such as Paddock’s computer, she could be charged with a crime.

Defense lawyer Chris Rasmussen said there is possible circumstantial evidence that points to Danley’s involvement in the massacre, including her trip to the Philippines and the $100,000 Paddock wired to her before the massacre. Her player’s club card also was found in Paddock’s Mandalay Bay hotel room.

“It’s enough to take to a grand jury,” Rasmussen said. “People can be convicted solely on circumstantial evidence.”

Paddock’s younger brother Eric Paddock said he doesn’t believe Danley was involved in the mass shooting.

“She had absolutely nothing to do with Steve killing those people,” said Paddock, who lives in Orlando, Florida. “We believe 100 percent that Steve played her the same way he played the rest of the world.”

The younger Paddock, who indicated he last talked to Danley around Christmas, said she would have told somebody if she had any idea he was planning the deadly shooting.

“She’s not stupid,” he said. “She would have come to someone like me.”

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson and a spokeswoman for the Nevada U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the investigation.

Danley’s Los Angeles lawyer, Matthew Lombard, did not return a call for comment.

Contact Jeff German at jgerman@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4564. Follow @JGermanRJ on Twitter. Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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