I-Team: Man accused of killing Esmeralda Gonzalez to be released on house arrest

I-Team

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A man accused of murdering a local model and stuffing her body into an enclosure in the desert will soon be released from jail.

Christopher Prestipino posted a $500,000 bond last week, but jail records earlier this week showed he was still at the Clark County Detention Center.

The 46-year-old is accused of killing 24-year-old Esmeralda Gonzalez. Metro Police said he injected her with a pool cleaner and put her body in a structure in a desert area.

On Wednesday, Clark County District Court Judge Douglas Herndon reaffirmed a decision made by a previous judge that will allow for Prestipino’s release from jail.

Metro Police and prosecutors expressed concerns about house arrest, and tried to prevent Prestipino’s release. Before Prestipino’s arrest, police said he went to Belize. He also had access to financial resources to post the half a million dollar bond.

On Nov. 7, one day after Prestipino posted bond, a representative from House Arrest at Metro sent Judge Herndon’s assistant an email about Prestipino and wrote, “We are forced to deny his placement.”

Chief Deputy District Attorney Pam Weckerly referred to at least one phone call Prestipino made from jail.

“Obviously, there’s lots of concerns about this particular defendant as we litigated in justice court. He’s correct about him reaching out to potential witnesses in this case.”

Defense attorney Bill Terry urged Judge Herndon to stick with the court’s original decision. “You are the court. House arrest does not control the situation,” Herndon said.

As Herndon reaffirmed the decision, he said, “When we make an order for house arrest, I intend for that to be followed.”

Prestipino will likely be tracked through a GPS bracelet while he awaits trial.

Presitpino’s loved ones were in court. They were pleased with Judge Herndon’s decision. They told a reporter they had no comment.

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