Man Held In Las Vegas With Head Injury Loses Bail Offer | Nevada News
By KEN RITTER, Associated Press
LAS VEGAS (AP) – A 57-year-old ex-felon who was found in Las Vegas with a severed head and body parts in his allegedly stolen vehicle lost his attempt to get out of jail as he faced a murder charge.
Eric Holland’s public defender David Westbrook argued in court on Tuesday that his client could have been “an unfortunate car thief who just picked the wrong car” and that the prosecution had to prove there was not only a body in the car “but that he knew he was there and actually caused the death.
Justice of the Peace Harmony Letizia responded with a terse order keeping Hollande behind bars at least until a preliminary hearing of other evidence in the case, scheduled for January 27.
“The evidence is clear and the presumption is high that Mr. Holland committed murder,” the judge said.
Holland was arrested on December 23 while driving a vehicle with the dismembered remains of a man later identified as Richard P. Miller, 65, of Las Vegas. The Clark County Coroner said Miller died on Dec. 23 from multiple gunshot wounds and said it was a homicide.
Police and prosecutors said Miller and Holland knew each other, but did not describe a motive for the murder.
Westbrook said outside court that his client intended to plead not guilty.
In court, he admitted his client “got caught while fleeing from the police,” but challenged police searches for coolers found sealed with duct tape in the bed of the 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche that Holland was found. driving.
Prosecutor Giancarlo Pesci showed the judge photos of Miller’s head and interviewed two police detectives who said that with three handguns, police found receipts for an electric saw, plastic bags of build quality and tough tape among Holland’s possessions.
Pesci said bullets from at least one of the pistols were found in Miller’s head and body.
Detective Tate Sanborn testified that video from a home improvement store also showed a person who looked like Holland shopping for a saw and other items.
Westbrook asked Ricardo Auerbach, the police inspector who found Miller’s head in a cooler, if he had first obtained a warrant to search the Avalanche.
Auerbach responded that he performed a standard inventory check before the vehicle was impounded and towed away as evidence. Auerbach said he opened the cooler after noticing a rotten or fishy smell.
Sanborn said he subsequently obtained a warrant for a further search.
Pesci said Holland had previously faced federal criminal and criminal convictions dating back to the 1980s in states such as California, Texas and Nevada under names such as Eric John Holland and Eric Allen Holland.
Nevada prison records indicate that Holland used names such as John Carl Hall, Phil Whidden, Robert Daniel Lauer, and Steven Tauber.
Outside court, Westbrook told reporters prosecutors had yet to show Holland knew, when he fled from police in an allegedly stolen 2018 Toyota Tundra and then changed vehicles to the ‘Avalanche that he “knew about what was in the Avalanche and had intentionally directed the police to the evidence.
“Why would he do that?” the defense lawyer asked.
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