Prosecutors on Tuesday narrowed their criminal theory against a mixed martial arts fighter accused of the June slaying of a former UNLV football player.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Robert Daskas filed a new criminal complaint that would allow jurors to convict Jason Simon Sindelar of either second-degree murder or involuntary manslaughter.
Authorities said Sindelar, 25, beat DeMario Reynolds Sr., 26, in June after he tried to stop a fight between Sindelar and his girlfriend in a Luxor hotel room.
The Clark County Coroner’s office has ruled Reynolds died as a result of an overdose of cocaine, Ecstasy, and alcohol. The physical altercation was a contributing factor, according to the coroner’s office.
Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Joe Bonaventure told Sindelar, who has not been in custody pending the filing of charges, that he had until Friday to post $50,000 bail or a no-bail bench warrant would be issued.
Deputy public defender Andrea Luem, who is representing Sindelar, asked for release without bail, because her client has shown up for all court appearances. Luem indicated in court that Sindelar probably would be able to post bail, and later said Bonaventure’s decision to allow Sindelar time to raise bail money was fair.
Prosecutors last week had filed an open murder complaint against Sindelar, making him eligible for a first-degree murder conviction and a stiffer penalty.
Reynolds and Sindelar were friends, having met at the Luxor two years ago, Reynolds’ family members have said. Both worked promoting clubs in the Luxor.
According to Sindelar’s arrest report, Iman Aubrey, DeMario Reynolds’ 43-year-old fiancée and the operator of a website for prospective swingers, told investigators Reynolds was trying to stop a fight between Sindelar and Sindelar’s girlfriend in a hotel room bathroom at 4 a.m. on June 19.
Aubrey and other witnesses told police that Sindelar had grabbed his girlfriend by the throat and slapped her, which prompted Reynolds to grab Sindelar and pull him to the floor.
Reynolds told Sindelar he did not want to fight and tried to calm the professional fighter.
The confrontation between the men continued in the master bedroom, where Sindelar hit Reynolds in the head and chest, witnesses said.
Sindelar left the suite but quickly returned and again beat Reynolds in the face and chest, and Reynolds was in a defensive position at that point, witnesses said.
Sindelar left a second time, and security was called. Reynolds was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Reynolds was a 6-foot-tall, 210-pound linebacker who last played for UNLV in 2005, according to the athletic department’s website. He also played for Las Vegas High School.
According to a mixed martial arts website, Sindelar, a Las Vegas resident, had one professional fight in North Dakota in 2008 and four amateur fights.
Contact reporter Francis McCabe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-1039.