LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A judge sentenced a man who pushed a downtown hotel security guard to the ground, which lead to his death, to a minimum of 28 months in prison.
“He took away a father. He took away a brother. He took away a son. He took away a grandfather and he took away my husband,” Randy Lyons’ wife, Elizabeth MacDowell, told the court before Judge Jacqueline Bluth issued her sentence.
Pedro Lizano, 35, faced a murder charge in the Lyons’ death, the 8 News Now Investigators first reported in September. Lizano took a plea deal in October for a charge of involuntary manslaughter.
On Sept. 26, 2021, police said Lyons was working as a security officer at the El Cortez Hotel and Casino on Fremont Street when he was dispatched to a restaurant for a report of a man creating a disturbance, a report said.
Lyons then found the man reportedly making the disturbance, identified as Lizano, in a valet area of the hotel, police said.
The video shows Lyons walking up to Lizano, who was smoking a cigarette on a bench. Lizano then gets up from the bench and, moments later, rushes toward Lyons.
Lizano “forcefully and aggressively shoved” him, causing him to fall backward, police said. Lyons’ head hit the pavement, knocking him unconscious and causing bleeding, police said.
In February, MacDowell made the difficult decision to take her husband off life support after he developed a second brain bleed, she said. Lyons’ manner of death was ruled a homicide. Prosecutors upgraded the charges against Lizano from battery to open murder. The charge was enhanced because of Lyons’ age.
“Even when he could no longer open his eyes, he forced himself to lift his head off the pillow in a desperate attempt to say goodbye to us,” Lyons’ brother, Mitchell Lyons, said.
“This is all the physical I have left of my brother, Randy,” Lyons’ sister, Brenda Lyons, told the court, holding up a necklace containing her brother’s ashes. “Pedro Lizano has no regard for my brother’s life or safety.”
Las Vegas Metro police records show officers have arrested Lizano 49 times since 2008. Officers also cited Lizano 10 times, records showed.
“I was homeless, and I was cold, and I needed somewhere to stay,” Lizano told the court.
Defense attorney David Westbrook noted Lizano’s previous attempts in mental health court.
“The root cause is that he has a mental illness that he’s been unable to treat and that we as a society have been unable to give him the resources to treat,” Westbrook said.
“Mental illness cannot be used as an excuse and as a, very appropriately, get out of jail ticket,” MacDowell said. “I will be the thorn in his side for the rest of his life because I will not allow him to take away another son, another brother, a sister, a mother of somebody. He will never do this again.”
Tania Arriaga, who identified herself in a letter to the court as Lizano’s sister, asked the judge for leniency.
“My brother has been struggling with mental health issues for such a long time and every time that I attempt to get him help, he is released without help,” the letter said.
Bluth sentenced Lizano to a minimum two-and-a-half years in prison with a maximum of 8 years, the highest penalty allowed per state law for the criminal category.