LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The man accused of opening fire inside a Las Vegas hookah lounge, killing one person and injuring a dozen others, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a lesser charge, putting him in prison for up to four-and-a-half years, records showed.
The shooting happened around 3:15 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, at Manny’s Glo Afterdark Lounge on East Sahara Avenue near Maryland Parkway. At some point, a fight broke out between several people. At least one attendee was a known gang member, police said.
Demetreus Beard, known to his friends as “Avion,” 33, died from multiple gunshot wounds. Thirteen other people, including one shooter, Lee Wilson, 44, were hurt.
Wilson originally faced one charge of murder and several counts of attempted murder. As the I-Team first reported last month, grand jury transcripts revealed police suspected there were four other shooters, including Wilson.
As part of a plea deal entered Tuesday, Wilson agreed to plead guilty to one charge of ownership or possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, records showed. He will be sentenced to 21 to 54 months in prison. A judge has final say over the length.
Wilson’s bail will also be lowered to $75,000 while he awaits sentencing, the plea deal stipulated.
Police have not named any other suspects, only saying publicly that others were involved.
“As we know of now, we believe there were approximately five inside,” a Las Vegas Metro police homicide detective told a grand jury according to transcripts. The detective later said the investigation was ongoing as to who the shooters were.
Wilson previously told a judge he was shot six times in the gunfire exchange.
“From the time I met Mr. Wilson he has maintained that he was not responsible for the terrible injuries of the shooting victims in this case and most importantly not responsible for the tragic death of Mr. Beard, a young man who was a friend of my client,” Josh Tomsheck, Wilson’s attorney said in a statement.
“A full and thorough investigation of the details of this incident clearly revealed Mr. Wilson was not a ‘mass shooter’ as has been widely reported, nor was he criminally responsible for the nearly 50 counts he was charged with in this case,” Tomsheck said.
The county suspended the lounge’s business license after the shooting. When police informed the county about the shooting, it was learned the lounge was serving alcohol and hookah and operating as a nightclub, all without the proper licenses.
During his first court appearance, a prosecutor said Wilson has an extensive criminal history dating back to 1995, including 82 arrests and nine felony convictions.
In an incident in December 2018, a video shows Wilson and a group of other men leaving a bar near Flamingo Road and Arville Street when Wilson and two others start firing at a car, prosecutors said.
Wilson ended up taking a plea deal for one count of discharging a firearm into an occupied structure or vehicle and was sentenced to a minimum of one year in prison.
In 2002, Wilson shot two dogs in North Las Vegas, injuring them. A judge sentenced him to more than a year in prison.
Wilson’s criminal history also includes charges of several gun-related and drug charges, including possession of a firearm by an ex-felon.