LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Henderson police officers who apprehended a suspect in an April 21 home invasion followed a wide trail of his encounters with others leading up to the attack.
Demetrius Walker, 27, who likes to go by the name “Pharoah,” is in the Clark County Detention Center. He faces a charge of open murder in the death of 85-year-old Mary Lacella. He also faces a list of about a dozen additional charges including home invasion, burglary and unrelated charges of domestic battery and child abuse.
Lacella died at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center a week after the home invasion. She suffered a brain bleed and “extensive” head and facial injuries, according to information in a Henderson Police Department arrest report.
The report describes a series of Walker’s interactions with others on that Wednesday morning, including stealing food at a 7-Eleven, an auto burglary and bashing in two apartment doors in the area near Sunset Road and Whitney Ranch Drive.
Witnesses’ descriptions of his clothing and video surveillance confirmed that police were looking for Walker, who went by several other aliases. But no matter whether he preferred Walker or “Pharoah,” a cross on his face and another distinctive tattoo left side of his face little doubt in the minds of Henderson police that they had their suspect.
And when a suspect in another disturbance matched his description, they picked him up.
Under questioning, he said he was the one who broke into Lacella’s home.
“During the interview Demetrius admitted that he knocked on a door in an apartment complex near Target … . He thought the apartment was empty, so he used his shoulder and forced the front door open, a woman screamed and startled him so he punched the female and then ran away from the apartment,” according to the arrest report.
He also demanded all her money and jewelry before punching her multiple times, Lacella had told police before she was taken to the hospital.
Along the way, Walker left evidence of his crimes. He had used an employee’s phone at the 7-Eleven to sign in to his Facebook account, and a silver cup stolen from a car in Lacella’s apartment complex had been left behind after the attack. There was also the crowbar left near the apartment that Walker had been seen carrying earlier.
The Clark County Coroner’s Office said Tuesday that Lacella died of complications from blunt force injuries to the head.
The case is Henderson’s sixth homicide of 2021.