Two men accused of gunning down a rival gang member pleaded not guilty Thursday in District Court to charges of murder with a deadly weapon.
Ramon Rodriguez, 25, and Jaime Alcaraz, 14, are charged with the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Luis Bernabe on April 2. It happened on the 4800 block of Stanley Avenue, near Nellis Boulevard and Owens Avenue.
Las Vegas police allege that Alcaraz and Rodriguez, who were armed with a shotgun and a .380-caliber handgun, walked up to Bernabe and asked him where he was from.
Bernabe, also known as “Brownie,” replied “Blythe Street,” referring to a local gang.
Police said Alcaraz and Rodriguez, both reportedly 28th Street gang members, then shot Barnabe multiple times. Bernabe died shortly later at University Medical Center.
Investigators believe the conflict that led to the fatal shooting started between Bernabe and Alcaraz.
Bernabe was dating Alcaraz’s ex-girlfriend, according to a police report. During a phone argument, Bernabe called Alcaraz a “Twinkie.”
Witnesses also told police Alcaraz believed Bernabe wanted to kill him.
One witness told police he saw Alcaraz and Rodriguez after the shooting with the guns. But several witnesses who were with Bernabe could not identify the two men from a photo lineup, according to court records.
Rodriguez was on probation at the time for several felony convictions, including robbery and drug possession.
Alcaraz and Rodriguez also face one count of conspiracy to commit murder. The felony charges against them are tagged with gang enhancements that could increase their sentences if convicted.
Both men are being held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center.
A trial date was set for Nov. 1, 2010.
Contact reporter Francis McCabe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-1039.