A 26-year-old woman will stand trial for fatally shooting her roommate with a shotgun, a Las Vegas judge ruled Thursday.
Mary Pitrello faces five charges, including murder, assault with a deadly weapon victim over 60 years old and robbery with a deadly weapon, for the death of Oliver Doppert in September at his apartment at 9050 Warm Springs Road, near El Capitan Way.
Justice of the Peace Deborah Lippis found that prosecutors had presented enough evidence to send the case to trial after about an hour of testimony from four witnesses, including the victim’s girlfriend.
Las Vegas police said Pitrello shot and killed Doppert the night of Sept. 12 because she was angry he stopped her from driving drunk.
Doppert’s girlfriend, Nicole Guess, testified that he had called her moments before being shot and said Pitrello was angry because her boyfriend took away Pitrello’s car keys. He didn’t want Pitrello to drive after she’d been drinking, Guess explained.
“Just get out of there,” Guess told Doppert, before she heard a muffled boom.
Guess, a Henderson police officer, testified through tears that she kept talking to Doppert and told him to apply pressure to the wound.
“He took maybe four or five more breaths and then it went so quiet,” Guess said.
Guess heard Pitrello enter the room and say, “Oliver you had no right to take my keys.”
She implored Pitrello to help Doppert and not to leave him alone, but she did leave.
As she was walking out of the condo, Pitrello waved the shotgun toward neighbor David Denton and told him to go back inside, Denton testified.
Pitrello left the home with a friend and fled to the Stratosphere. The friend, Stevie Lynn Bast, testified that she notified casino security and Pitrello was arrested at a casino bar.
Bast said that she and Pitrello were both heavily intoxicated after drinking a 5-liter box of Sunset Blush wine.
According to a police report, Pitrello told police she killed Doppert after he raped her about a week earlier in their apartment.
Investigators were skeptical of Pitrello’s claim. She never reported a rape to police and spent the day drinking at the pool with Doppert and another friend.
The rape accusation was not brought up during the preliminary hearing Thursday. Pitrello’s lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Ed Kane, hinted that his client has had mental health problems in the past. He would not elaborate following the hearing.
Pitrello, who attended the hearing wearing navy blue jail scrubs with her arms and legs shackled, showed little emotion during testimony. She tried to make eye contact with Bast, but Bust appeared to be avoiding Pitrello’s gaze.
She remained held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center. An arraignment hearing was set for Nov. 21 in District Court.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@review journal.com or 702-380-1039.