LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Five people face murder charges after they allegedly bound a couple in their Las Vegas mansion — pistol-whipping an elderly man and forcing his wife’s head underwater in a bathtub — leading to one of their deaths, prosecutors said.
Earlier this year, Las Vegas Metro policed arrested Denzale Lee, 28; Raven Queen, 28; and Antonio Washington, 25, on charges relating to the series of burglaries, which officers said amounted to as many as 11. Henderson police had arrested Queen and another man, Derrick Roberts, 26, in January for a home invasion and shooting there, they said.
A fifth person, Howard Cavitt, 28; and a sixth person, Lamonte Butler, 25, were also indicted in the conspiracy.
On Friday, prosecutors announced the grand jury added murder charges for Butler, Cavitt, Lee, Queen and Washington. The charge is enhanced due to the victim’s age.
In all, eight people face charges in several home invasions, including the shooting of a man in his Henderson home and the kidnapping of the couple in their west valley home, the 8 News Now Investigators reported earlier this year.
On Jan. 12, four armed men broke into the home in the Queensridge neighborhood, and duct-taped Hong Shu Liu, then-77-years-old, and his wife, beating them and forcing them around the home to open safes, documents alleged. Prosecutors allege Queen “remained outside to act as a lookout” during the robbery, documents said.
Liu was left hospitalized with a brain injury, documents said. Prosecutors said he died from his injuries in September, leading a grand jury to indict the group on the murder charge. Liu was 78 when he died. The Clark County coroner’s office listed his cause of death as “complications of multiple blunt force injuries.”
During the robbery, the suspects forced the woman’s head into a bathtub full of water, documents said. The woman told the grand jury the men dunked her head three times underwater as she feared for her life.
The group left with money, jewelry and several of the woman’s handbags, documents said. Washington’s DNA later came back as positive on pieces of the duct tape, investigators said. Queen later searched for the couple’s name on Facebook, detectives said. Queen also attempted to sell the stolen handbags, which police later determined belonged to the robbery victim, they said.
Queen had reserved a room at a hotel on Las Vegas Boulevard near Blue Diamond Road, police said. She checked in on Jan. 10 and left on Jan. 12, police said. Police suspect four other men all stayed in the same room during the spree.
The group was accused of coming back to the area later in January and carjacking a person. Police arrested all five suspects at an Airbnb on Jan. 24. Police and the FBI arrested the two teenagers the same week.
On Friday, prosecutors asked Judge Tierra Jones to continue the defendants’ bail conditions.
A grand jury indicted Lee, Queen and Washington on 22 charges, including murder and attempted murder. Queen remained in custody Tuesday at the Clark County Detention Center on $750,000 bail. Lee and Washington remained in custody on $600,000 bail.
Police arrested Butler and Cavitt in April. A grand jury indicted them on 15 charges, including murder and attempted murder. Both remained in custody Tuesday; Butler on $500,000 bail and Cavitt on $1,000,000 bail.
Jones issued a warrant for Sjean Jackson and a summons to Antwain McDuffie. Roberts pleaded guilty earlier this year for his involvement in the robberies.