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Suspect in fatal Las Vegas crash taken into custody in Mexico

Updated June 5, 2019 - 11:28 am

A Las Vegas man wanted for murder after a crash that killed his 10-year-old nephew has been arrested after several months on the lam, authorities said.

Las Vegas police months ago had warned that Jonathan Mora, then 23, was to be considered armed and dangerous after fleeing the scene of the Sept. 15 crash that claimed the life of Zion Jimenez. He came home to his parents’ house shortly after the crash to wash off the blood and then left, an arrest warrant said.

He had been at-large ever since, until investigators learned he likely fled to Mexico, a U.S. Marshals Service release said. Mexican authorities, with help from marshals and the Metropolitan Police Department, arrested Mora on May 30 in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico.

Marshals worked with federal authorities to bring Mora across the Mexican border to the U.S., and he is awaiting extradition from Texas to Las Vegas, U.S. Marshal for Nevada Gary Schofield said Tuesday night. He was deported from Mexico to the U.S. on Friday, the release said.

Mora’s arrest warrant states that he was driving a 2016 Nissan Altima at 110 mph two seconds before slamming into the back of a 2015 Toyota Camry about 11:30 p.m. near East Vegas Valley Drive and South Mountain Vista Street. He fled the scene, leaving behind a bloody handprint as well as Zion and a 20-year-old backseat passenger, the warrant said.

The posted speed limit in the residential neighborhood is 35 mph, the warrant states.

“This act was unjustifiable and resulted in a crash which sent three people to the hospital,” a detective wrote in the warrant.

Witnesses pulled Zion and the 20-year-old passenger from the Nissan, which caught fire. Zion was hospitalized at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. He died Sept. 21 of blunt-force injuries to the head and neck, the Clark County coroner’s office said.

The 20-year-old and the Toyota driver were hospitalized with serious injuries.

The crash sent the Toyota spinning for 217 feet and the Nissan spinning for 126 feet, the warrant states.

Mora, the 20-year-old man and Zion, the front-seat passenger, were not wearing seat belts, according to the warrant.

Prosecutors charged Mora with murder. In addition to the murder charge, Mora faces three charges of reckless driving resulting in death or substantial bodily harm, three charges of failing to stop at the scene of a crash, and one charge of child abuse.

Contact Mike Shoro at mshoro@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter.

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