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Las Vegas attorney who shot lawyer, wife had learned cancer had returned

Updated April 11, 2024 - 6:01 am

Attorney Joseph Houston had learned that the prostate cancer that spread to his bones had returned just days before he shot and killed a prominent lawyer and his wife, before turning the gun on himself at a Summerlin law office, a close colleague said Wednesday.

Dennis Prince, 57, Ashley Prince, 30, and Houston, 77, died from gunshot wounds Monday morning inside a conference room of the Prince Law Group law firm on the fifth floor of the City National Bank Building in Summerlin.

“Joe was my mentor and one of my very best friends in my life,” said attorney Louis Schneider, who worked in the same law office with Houston in downtown Las Vegas for 13 years.

Schneider said that Houston had confided that his prostate cancer had spread to his bones more than a year ago and after undergoing chemotherapy and radiation — and losing his hair — was informed that the cancer had receded.

Houston found out only days before the shooting that the cancer had returned, after his hair had grown back, Schneider said.

“He was miserable,” he said. “Joe couldn’t walk the way he used to. He had over a period of years gone from being in incredible shape to — it just really aged him.”

Al Marquis, a retired attorney who had known Houston for years, also noted the pain Houston faced after the prostate cancer had metastasized to his bones. “The most painful thing you can go through,” he said.

Marquis also noted that Houston also was dealing with his son’s custody battle over his two grandchildren.

Ashley Prince, the ex-wife of Joseph Houston’s son Dylan Houston, had filed an emergency motion for sole custody of their two kids — Joseph Houston’s grandkids.

Marquis speculated that if Ashley Prince had made Dylan look bad in the motion, “Joe certainly would take that personally.“

On the day of the shooting, Joseph Houston’s wife, Katherine, was set to answer questions about their son during a deposition at Dennis Prince’s law office, which Marquis said may have been another trigger for Joseph Houston, who was representing his son at the deposition.

Las Vegas attorney Lisa Rasmussen confirmed Tuesday that she also was present during the shooting and was representing Katherine Houston at the deposition.

Rasmussen said Joseph Houston was representing Dylan Houston in the contentious custody battle with Ashley Prince, who was represented by her husband Dennis Prince.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Contact Jeff Burbank at jburbank@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0382. Follow him @JeffBurbank2 on X.

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