Woman accused in stabbing of 84-year-old appears in court

A woman accused in the July stabbing death of an 84-year-old appeared in court Wednesday.

Mary Luebeck’s body was found by her daughter on July 29 inside a townhouse in the 3200 block of Opera Drive, police said.

Police have said someone broke the home’s glass sliding door with a “large rock,” went inside and stabbed Luebeck numerous times after she confronted the attacker.

Margarita Balandova, 28, of Las Vegas was arrested Thursday on charges of murder with a deadly weapon, robbery with a deadly weapon, home invasion and first-degree arson, police said. She is being held without bail in the Clark County Detention Center.

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa set a preliminary hearing for Balandova later this month.

Witnesses told detectives that at about 3:30 a.m. the day Luebeck’s body was found, they heard a “loud noise” and heard a man and a woman arguing near Luebeck’s house.

Luebeck’s neighbors, police said, “expressed concern” about Balandova and her husband, Timothy Coleman.

When police questioned Coleman, 31, he told them that he and Balandova were married and that she left their house after an argument about 2 a.m. July 29, according to the report.

Balandova returned home with no shoes and blood on her clothes and said that she had killed someone, Coleman told detectives, adding that he helped her burn her clothes before renting a hotel room and hiding out for a couple of days.

Prosecutors were still trying to determine Wednesday whether Coleman will be charged in the slaying, but he was arrested Saturday on a charge of breaking and tampering with a vehicle, detention center records show.

Contact David Ferrara at 702-380-1039 or dferrara@reviewjournal.com. Find him on Twitter: @randompoker

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