UPDATE: On Sept. 26, Mateo Facio was found guilty on all counts. There was a hung jury in Briana Matus’s case and the trial date will be reset on Oct. 24, according to court records.
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The 8 News Now Investigators were on hand for closing arguments against 23-year-old Mateo Facio, who prosecutors say stalked the man he believed killed his friend’s boyfriend.
That friend, 22-year-old Briana Matus, is also charged with murdering 23-year-old Kieron Hatchett who was sitting in the front passenger seat of a white sedan and later died from two gunshot wounds to the head in August 2021. In all, police said the car had at least 16 bullet holes.
Facio’s Snapchat contained a written message, which prosecutors relied heavily on, saying, “The [expletive] that killed my brotha gonna die today.” Other Snapchat stories show that Facio had received and acknowledged a photo of Hatchett the night of the shooting.
Prosecutors showed the jury evidence of Hatchett’s outfit that night – including a green baseball cap – which was taken off his body the night he died. It was the same outfit he wore in the photos.
Prosecutors say the two took Matus’ black Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck and waited three hours for their chance to kill Hatchett. Matus’ defense attorney, Michael Sanft, argued that Matus was not present. Prosecutors scoffed at that statement.
“All the documents show it was her truck,” prosecuting attorney Giancarlo Pesci said in his closing argument.
The prosecution’s reliance on a high volume of social media correspondence is part of a growing area of law enforcement in Southern Nevada. In addition to the Snapchat evidence, prosecutors used cell phone data – specifically showing their text messages and phone calls bouncing off cell phone towers near the crime scene around the time of the shooting.
Another murder, police say, was solved in Las Vegas using a viral video on social media. Two young defendants, being tried as adults, stole a car and went on a crime spree, intentionally driving into a man on his bicycle and killing him, the 8 News Now Investigators were first to report.
Even in his defense of Matus, Sanft acknowledged the prevalence of social media.
Arguing that prosecutors had little social media evidence against Matus, Sanft said, “That’s a big thing in today’s society. Because we’re talking about a 19-year-old girl. Social media is their entire life. Right? That’s what they do.”
Both Matus and Macio are charged with 42 separate counts, ranging from weapons charges to murder. Defense attorneys argued that the district attorney overcharged these defendants, but prosecutors said the barrage of bullets that hit Hatchett and others was proper.
“How many counts of discharging a firearm at or into a vehicle should there be?” Prosecutor Elissa Luzaich asked. Luzaich counted each bullet hole investigators found, saying there were 18 in total. Matus and Macio face 16 such charges.
“Actually, we undercharged,” Luzaich told the jury.
The murder, court documents say, followed a party in August 2021. Several people were at a party at Soul of Afrika, a restaurant on Rainbow Boulevard where there was an altercation between employees, police said.
As the party ended the following morning, a car with four people in it drove away. Soon after, another car pulled beside it at the intersection of Rainbow and Westcliff Drive and started shooting, police said.
The driver of the first car, who may have been the intended victim, drove to a nearby hospital. Kieron Hatchett, 23, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, later died from two gunshot wounds to the head. In all, police said the car had at least 16 bullet holes.
The next day, detectives reviewed surveillance video and determined the shooter’s car was likely a Chevrolet. Later that week, an anonymous source contacted police about Hatchett’s death and a possibly related homicide on Aug. 13.
On Aug. 13, police said Anthony Emilian, 18, and Robert Maxwell, 25, got into a fight near Sunset Park on Sunset Road near Pecos Road, leading Emilian to shoot Maxwell. Another person at the scene returned fire at Emilian, who later died from his injuries, police said. Booking logs indicate the shooting was being reviewed by the District Attorney’s office as of Tuesday.
Six older teenagers were injured in that shooting and taken to various hospitals.
After the Aug. 13 shooting, the anonymous source said several people received Snapchat messages from an account asking for personal information, like phone numbers and addresses, to get retribution for Emilian’s death.
The anonymous source also told police they were at the incident at Soul of Afrika on Aug. 28, believing that the two incidents were connected.
Police later learned on April 30, Emilian shot at his Matus, his ex-girlfriend, as they traveled on U.S. 95 near Cheyenne Avenue, police said. Police then searched more Snapchat accounts, finding evidence connecting several users to the Aug. 29 homicide.
A search of who may own one of the accounts led them to Facio, then 21, police said. Investigators later searched Matus’ car, a Chevrolet, finding headstamps on cartridge cases matching those found at the Aug. 29 homicide.
Police believe Facio and Matus followed the victims from Soul of Afrika to the intersection where they shot at the car.