LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty should a man accused of killing another man on an RTC bus be convicted of murder, documents said.
Aaron Cole, 59, is charged with murder in the death of Dominique Lucas, 30. Both men were riding an RTC bus on Sunday, Feb. 26, when they began to argue. Cole then allegedly stabbed Lucas more than 30 times, prosecutors said.
In court documents filed Monday, prosecutors noted no prior connection between Cole and Lucas with “no apparent motive” other than the verbal altercation.
The incident begins at 4:50 p.m. on video the 8 News Now Investigators obtained from the bus. The bus stops and its doors open at 4:54 p.m. The driver exits the bus shortly before 4:55 p.m. No one is seen helping Lucas, who crawled out of the bus and onto the sidewalk. A passerby is seen applying a towel to Lucas’ chest at 4:57 p.m. Metro police officers arrived at 4:58 p.m.
Video shows the bus’s front door briefly opening during the attack and then closing as Cole continues to stab Lucas. For about 2 minutes, Lucas stumbles around the front area of the bus and it continues down Paradise Road. During this time, the bus driver activated a panic button and talked to a dispatcher.
Two minutes after the initial attack, the video shows Cole getting up and stabbing Lucas several more times. The bus, which was traveling on an alternate route due to that day’s marathon, was traveling in the left lane. It eventually stopped near the intersection of Paradise and Desert Inn roads.
The driver did not open the bus’s doors due to the risk of the victim or passengers running into traffic and because the bus would not be able to move if the doors were opened, a spokesperson for Keolis, which operates the bus for RTC, said.
At the time of the murder, Cole was on parole on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, the 8 News Now Investigators first reported shortly after his arrest. In 1994, police arrested Cole on a charge of second-degree murder after he shot a man in a Salvation Army lobby, records said. The charge was reduced to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, records indicated.
On Feb. 16, 10 days before the bus murder, Metro police arrested Cole on a charge of assault with the use of a deadly weapon and two counts of carrying a concealed weapon, records showed. Cole was arrested for allegedly threatening a person on a bus with a knife, sources said.
Cole’s pre-trial risk assessment, a system courts use to determine bail, deemed him “low risk” for the Feb. 16 arrest, documents the 8 News Now Investigators obtained said. Cole remained at the Clark County Detention Center on Tuesday as a judge denied him bail.
While Nevada has the death penalty, a person has not been put to death since 2006.