LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Two teenagers indicted on charges of intentionally hitting and killing a bicyclist and recording a video of the incident both pleaded not guilty in a Las Vegas courtroom Wednesday morning.
Jesus Ayala, 18, who was 17 at the time of the alleged crimes, is facing 14 charges, including murder, and Jzamir Keys, 16, is facing 13 charges, including murder. Both told Clark County District Court Judge Tierra Jones they understood the charges against them and waived their rights to a speedy trial.
David Westbrook, who is the public defender representing Ayala, told the judge he had concerns with trial publicity and a lack of communication from the DA’s office.
“Frankly, I’ve seen the district attorney on TV more than Jimmy Fallon lately,” public defender Westbrook said. “I feel like this case is coming dangerously close to being a case the DA is trying in the media. I think it should be tried in the courtroom.”
He said he had only received two police reports and has not seen the evidence, including the videos, involved in the case.
8 News Now Investigators contacted Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson, who said that if Westbrook has seen him on TV more than Jimmy Fallon, maybe he should go to bed earlier, adding: “Mr. Westbrook’s client and their co-defendant are entitled to the presumption of innocence, like any other defendant charged in any other criminal case in this country, and they’re presumed innocent until otherwise proven in a court of law. We look forward to the day when this case comes to trial and when the state and defense can present the information to a jury so that jury can deliver justice.”
Westbrook added he was concerned about finding unbiased jurors due to the case’s publicity and cited two rules that are designed to stop a potential jury from being prejudiced against the defendants. He wanted the judge to caution the state but Judge Jones said Westbrook would have to file a motion with the court for the concerns to be addressed.
“Now that Mr. Westbrook has stepped off of his soapbox, I followed all the rules and responsibilities that are required of me … and that’s all I need to do,” Chief Deputy District Attorney John Giordani said.
Both teens are in the adult court system and are facing several felony charges including murder for a crime spree on Aug. 14, 2023, that left 64-year-old cyclist Andreas “Andy” Probst dead. The retired police chief from California, who was riding a bicycle in a marked lane near Tenaya Way and Centennial Parkway, was allegedly hit from behind by the teens in a stolen car. Las Vegas Metropolitan police later identified Ayala as the driver and Keys as the passenger who recorded the crash.
About an hour before Probst was struck, the teens allegedly attempted to hit a 72-year-old bicyclist, who was not injured. In the hours following Probst’s death, the teens are accused of stealing two more cars.
8 News Now Investigators obtained documents that revealed police were able to connect the two teenagers to the deadly hit-and-run when the video circulated around some high schools following Probst’s death.
Currently, the Ayala and Keys are being held without bail.