LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas man accused of killing his friend in a hit-and-run faces a new charge of murder after police believe he intentionally killed the 23-year-old with his car, documents the 8 News Now Investigators obtained Thursday said.
Las Vegas Metro police arrested Ethan Chavez, 20, on hit-and-run-related charges in November.
On Nov. 22, 2022, police received a phone call from a person who said they had found a man, later identified as Armani Williams deceased on the side of the road near Lake Mead Boulevard near Hallston Street in the northwest valley, documents said.
Responding detectives determined Williams was hit by a car, they said.
That same day, Chavez called police to report his car stolen, documents said. Officers later found the car, noting it had “major front-end damage… and a smashed windshield,” documents said.
Detectives then interviewed Chavez, believing he was involved in the hit-and-run death of Williams.
After first saying his car was stolen, Chavez then told detectives he was coming down from work when he hit a man “walking down the middle of the street,” documents said. He told detectives he drove off to avoid arrest.
Police later learned Chavez and Williams were friends and had worked together at a restaurant, documents said.
Homicide investigators later searched Chavez’s found, finding he had searched the internet for “replace front windshield” and “what to do if my stolen car was used in a hit and run [sic],” documents said. Chavez also reportedly searched “Las Vegas hit and run [sic].”
Police suspect Chavez and Williams got into an argument before Williams was killed, documents said. Police believe Chavez gave Williams a ride, Williams got out of the car and then Chavez “intentionally struck Williams with his vehicle,” documents said.
Police arrested Chavez on the murder charge Wednesday. Due to that charge, Judge Harmony Letizia denied setting bail. Chavez was due to return to court on May 8 for a bail hearing.
A booking photo was not immediately available.