Report: Couple used ad to lure random murder victim; man was shot, stabbed and beaten

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A couple is facing murder charges after they admitted to luring a random victim from a Craigslist ad to kill him and steal his vehicle. The couple shot, stabbed and beat up Hector Mendez-Hernandez, 44, in his northeast valley home, according to the arrest reports released by Metro.

Tonya Dillard, 27, and Jacob Berkovitz, 24, were arrested after killing Hernandez on Friday at his home near Lamb Boulevard and Judson Avenue. Police were tipped off about the murder from Dillard’s close friend who told police about the crime and showed officials pictures of Hernandez’ beaten body that Dillard had sent her.

After learning of the crime, police obtained the address and saw the two leaving the house in Hernandez’ Ford F-150. Metro then conducted a traffic stop which led to the arrest of the couple.

Dillard and Berkovitz told police they came up with a plan to post an ad on Craigslist to lure a victim, the report states. Dillard then said that her and her boyfriend planned to use sex to entice the victim, kill them and steal their car to go “live in the woods” together.

The victim in this case ended up being Hernandez. The report states the three met up and may have all spent the night at Hernandez’ house. Early Friday morning, Hernandez attempted to kiss Dillard which upset both Dillard and Berkovitz, according to the report.

During the altercation which resulted after, Berkovitz admitted to shooting Hernandez four times, and “at least twice in the head area.” The 24-year-old suspect then admitted to stabbing the victim “at least 25 times” in his torso area, the report states.

Then, Berkovitz beat Hernandez with a black and red dumbbell set while Dillard helped hold the victim down.

Berkovitz told police he did this because Hernandez “had touched Dillard’s thigh.”

At one point, Berkovitz said Hernandez punched him, so he responded by shooting Hernandez with a handgun that Dillard had bought from a pawn shop, the report states.

Berkovitz and Dillard are being charged with four felony counts, including:

  • Murder with a deadly weapon,
  • Conspiracy to commit murder,
  • Robbery with a deadly weapon,
  • Conspiracy to commit robbery.

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