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‘One of a kind’: Slain lawyer Dennis Prince remembered in packed funeral service

Updated April 16, 2024 - 9:23 pm

Hundreds of people packed a central Las Vegas funeral home to remember a prominent local attorney who was slain in his law office in a shooting that also killed his wife.

Dennis Prince’s celebration of life at Palm Downtown Mortuary and Cemetery on Tuesday afternoon brought out what one attendee said was a standing-room-only service with an estimated 750 people in attendance.

“Everybody wanted to be Dennis Prince, right?” said Richard Harris, another well-known Las Vegas attorney, who attended Tuesday’s service after having known Prince since the early 1990s.

“Dennis Prince had it all,” Harris said. “Dennis Prince had looks; he had a brain; a stylish dresser; a very talented, very talented trial attorney; and charming as they come.”

Harris said the Las Vegas legal community has been “shocked and saddened” by what happened on April 8 at Prince’s Summerlin law offices.

Prince, 57, a father of four, was shot dead by another Las Vegas attorney during a deposition. Prince’s killer, Joseph Houston, also fatally shot Prince’s wife, Ashley Prince, 30, before turning the gun on himself.

Dennis Prince had been representing Ashley Prince, in a bitter custody dispute with her ex-husband Dylan Houston, over Ashley and Dylan’s two young children. Dylan Houston was being represented by his father, Joseph Houston.

The couple also shared a baby daughter. Ashley’s parents, Paul and Julie Page, as well as other Page family members, were also seen leaving the funeral.

Prince’s family had said through a spokesperson Tuesday that journalists wouldn’t be allowed inside the building during the service and that the family wouldn’t be commenting.

Outside, some attendees shared their thoughts about Prince before and after the service.

Former Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, who called Dennis Prince a friend, was one of several political figures in attendance. Sisolak also said he felt especially terrible for Dennis’ children.

“I just thought very, very highly of him,” Sisolak said. “He always was very amicable, very nice, very easy to get along with.”

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford, who had worked with Prince as an attorney and considered Prince a friend, declined to comment on his way into the service.

Las Vegas City Councilman Cedric Crear said he had known Dennis Prince since the two had played tennis together as kids growing up in Las Vegas, while Crear went to Bishop Gorman High School and Prince was at Bonanza High School.

After Bonanza, Prince went on to get a degree in finance from UNLV and then became an attorney after attending California Western School of Law in San Diego.

Crear said he was very happy to see his friend become such a successful attorney, having known how smart Prince was.

“I hope that people will remember him as just a great person, wonderful personality, great father and a person that loved our community,” Crear said.

“He was a great lawyer, a good friend,” said attorney Floyd Hale, who had worked with Prince. Hale said he felt “disbelief” over the tragedy and described the service as having been nice, with several family members speaking.

According to the programs given out at the funeral, Pastor Jeff Long was the minister while speakers included Prince’s son, Scot Prince, 34, and his daughter Taylor Prince See, 31.

In an interview with the Review-Journal last week, Scot and Taylor said their dad excelled at two things: being a dad and being a lawyer.

“His kids and his job were his entire life,” said Scot Prince. “He knows how to be a dad. He knows how to be a lawyer. And that’s all he cared about.”

Harris said there “wasn’t enough time, and there wasn’t enough room for all of the friends and loved ones and the tributes that needed to happen for Dennis.

“This is just proof of his popularity and the love that people had for him,” Harris said, noting the large crowd. “He’s one of a kind.”

Prince is also survived by three previous wives including Susan Barrett, 56, to whom he was married from 1988 until 2011; Nancy Bernstein, 54, to whom he was married from 2014 until 2018, and with whom he shared a 9-year-old son; and Elena Machin-Prince, 52, to whom he was married from 2019 until 2023.

Contact Brett Clarkson at bclarkson@reviewjournal.com.

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