UPDATE: Warrant of arrest released; details of 23-year-old Las Vegas cold case

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Metro Police investigators took 41-year-old Toby Wilcox into custody on Sunday, Dec. 15, for a 1996 murder with a deadly weapon. He was accused of beating a victim who later died from his injuries.

The warrant for arrest released Monday afternoon gave details of the crime and confession.

On September 28, 1996, police dispatch received a 911 call reporting a male adult, later identified as Timothy Owen, found beaten in the rear of Cheetah’s strip club at 2100 Western Avenue. Responding paramedics transported the victim to UMC Trauma with severe injuries to the face and head, and he was not expected to survive. Owen was later moved to an extended care facility where he died the following year on July 28, 1997.

According to the report, in the autopsy, the coroner’s office ruled Owen’s death a homicide, caused by blunt force trauma to the head.

The warrant of arrest report states the crime scene was documented, photographed and evidence, including latent fingerprints, palm prints, DNA and blood evidence collected. There was a large pool of blood on the sidewalk area where Owen was found. A tooth was also found on the asphalt of the parking lot near the sidewalk.

A few feet away from a pool of the victim’s blood was a tapered, hardwood, table leg with a whitewash finish. Police found latent fingerprints on the object at the smaller end, and later, DNA matched to Wilcox covered much of the larger end, according to the report.

There was a white, 1985 Chevrolet Camaro, bearing Ohio license plates, parked facing the area where Owen was found. A drop of blood was found on the hood of the vehicle, in addition to palm prints found on the top right fender, the right front side of the hood and the top left hood and fender.

According to the report, a forensic scientist examined the latent prints found on the smaller end of the wooden table leg and Wilcox’s fingerprint was identified and limited details was found in agreement with his print.

When palm prints found on the white, 1985 Chevrolet Camaro were examined, Wilcox’s left palm was identified as matching the latent palm prints found on various parts of the car.

More than two decades later, detectives were finally able to match fingerprints at the scene to Wilcox after he was arrested for the 2004 murder of a drug dealer and the man’s newborn son. Wilcox is currently serving time in Ohio for those deaths.

According to Metro Police, investigators visited him in prison, and he confessed to the killing in Las Vegas.

In the report, a recorded statement was obtained from Toby Wilcox. Wilcox described how he and a group of four other people, including his brother, stopped to examine the rims on a white Camaro parked at the strip club. Wilcox admitted he and his group were in the habit of stealing rims to either keep for themselves or sell for money.

Wilcox said in the statement that he didn’t have the tools necessary to steal the Camaro’s rims, but he would go back to his apartment if the rims were good enough. Wilcox agreed his palm prints being found on both sides of the front of the Camaro would be from his having touched those areas during his inspection of the rims, according to the report.

During the conversation and examination of the car, Wilcox stated he didn’t notice Owen come out of Cheetah’s Lounge. A fight ensued between Owen and the others, and, according to his statement, Wilcox intervened when he felt the victim was getting the best of the fight with his brother. Wilcox later said he was also worried about the police having to respond.

At that point, Wilcox said, “I seen the stick on the ground, I picked it up, and I hit him with it.” Wilcox said he remembered the stick had white paint on it and remembered tossing the stick away as he told everyone the fight was over with, according to the report.

Wilcox only admitted to hitting Owen once in the head. He did not say any others in the group hit Owen with the table leg. Wilcox said he was not trying to kill Owen when he struck him.

The I-Team followed this case and reported on it over the years. You can read that story here.

Wilcox was booked into the Clark County Detention Center and charged with one count of open murder with a deadly weapon.

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