Las Vegas Drai’s Nightclub Shooter Benjamin Frazier Sentenced for Row Over $30 Club Entry That Left One Man Dead, Two Injured

Posted on: September 28, 2018, 08:30h. 

Last updated on: September 28, 2018, 09:19h.

Benjamin Frazier — whose impetuous actions with a gun at Drai’s nightclub in Las Vegas in 2013 left one man dead and two security guards injured — has been sentenced to 26 years to life in prison for his crimes.

Benjamin Frazier
Benjamin Frazier (seen here in 2013 after his arrest and arraignment) shot a man dead and injured two more at Drai’s nightclub in Las Vegas in a row over a $30 entry fee. Frazier had a history of assaulting people at Las Vegas nightspots. (Julie Jacobson/AP)

Frazier pleaded guilty to one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder in a Las Vegas court on August 8 in relation to the violence at Drai’s, which at the time was hosted at Bally’s casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The property has since converted to The Cromwell, which still houses the nightclub.

The trigger for the deadly rampage was a $30 entrance fee. According to court records, Frazier arrived at Drai’s just before 6 am, and initially demanded to preview the crowd before paying the fee.

When the club’s security refused, Frazier relented and entered the club, before returning shortly afterwards to ask for his money back, because it wasn’t full. During the ensuing argument, he pulled out a .38-caliber handgun.

Captured on Camera

Chilling security footage from Bally’s recorded in clear detail how subsequent events played out. Frazier began tussling with security guard Robert Farias, who fell to the ground before being shot in the arm and chest by Frazier. At that point, another security guard, Anthony Guerrero, appeared in the doorway and was shot in the stomach.

The gunman then walked out of the club and onto the gaming floor, brandishing the handgun as people fled around him.

Suddenly, casino guest Kenneth Brown came onto the scene off-camera and jumped on Frazier’s back, attempting to pull him to the ground. During the skirmish, Frazier shot him, but fell underneath the dead weight of Brown’s body before being subdued himself by security.

Violent History

While the two security guards survived their injuries, Brown — a man who had only just moved to Las Vegas and to work as a nightclub promoter and stand-up comedian — wasn’t so lucky. The footage shows medical personnel trying to revive him, to no avail.

Frazier had a history of violent outbursts at Las Vegas nightspots. In 1996, he was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to assault with a deadly weapon at Cheetahs strip club. In 2012, he was sentenced to six months of probation and ordered to take alcohol counseling after he punched a bartender at a Strip casino and kicked customer.

In 2017, prosecutors told Frazier they would withdraw a death penalty charge if he agreed to plead guilty but mentally unstable. He responded by telling the judge he wanted to fire the defense attorneys who had negotiated the deal. The judge refused that request.

Frazier is the nephew of former Nye County, Nevada DA Bob Beckett, who has himself had run-ins with the law. Beckett was twice arrested and charged with drunk driving, in both 2008 and 2010. Also in 2010, Beckett was arrested on multiple counts of fraud, including embezzlement. Those charges were later dropped.

Beckett was Frazier’s original defense attorney when he made his first appearance in Las Vegas Justice Court in 2013 after the Drai’s violence.