Las Vegas Crime Roundup: Accused Robber Fatally Shoots Self in Car Near Strip

Posted on: April 19, 2023, 12:44h. 

Last updated on: April 19, 2023, 03:58h.

An unnamed, armed bandit led police on a chase that ended on I-15 when the suspect crashed a car near the Las Vegas Strip on Monday.

A crash scene on I-15 in Las Vegas, pictured above.
A crash scene on I-15 in Las Vegas, pictured above. The driver shot himself and died. (Image: KSNV)

The man shot himself while still in the vehicle and died at the crime scene.

The armed robbery occurred shortly after noon on Blue Diamond Road, according to Las Vegas TV station KLAS. The crash led to the closing of the northbound I-15 lanes between Spring Mountain Road and Sahara Avenue.

Further details haven’t been released.

North Las Vegas Pastor, Wife Await Trial After Sex Assaults

A North Las Vegas minister was indicted recently for allegedly sexually assaulting three women.

The Rev. Bobby Cornealius Smith, 46, was indicted by a grand jury on 11 charges, including nine counts of sexual assault, a single count of attempted sexual assault, and a count of child abuse, neglect, or endangerment. Smith was identified in media reports as the pastor of New Beginnings Ministries.

A woman identified as his wife, Lashawn Nicole Smith, also was indicted for sexual assault and child abuse, neglect, or endangerment.

One victim was described as a family member, and the other two women were called “God daughters,” according to Las Vegas TV station KLAS.

One of the victims testified before the grand jury that Bobby Smith repeatedly forced her to use sex toys starting when she was 17 years old, KLAS reported. “God is telling me that it is important for you to do this,” the victim relayed to the grand jury when asked what Bobby Smith had told her.

The victim revealed to Lashawn Nicole Smith what took place but said the pastor’s wife didn’t notify the police.

That victim said Bobby Smith used the sex toy on her at least 30 times.

Others Come Forward

A second woman who described herself as a church member claimed Bobby Smith asked that she perform oral sex on him but said she pushed him away. A third woman claimed she was texted a photo of a sex toy by Bobby Smith when she was 17. Initially, she refused to use it, but then the two would meet at Las Vegas hotels and other locations where they used the device.

Bobby Smith also ordered the woman to perform sex acts with his wife. A search of the Smiths’ home in North Las Vegas led to the discovery of over 20 sex toys, according to North Las Vegas police.

Bobby Smith was arrested on January 27. His trial is scheduled to begin on July 17. He remains in the Clark County Detention Center as of Tuesday. His bond was set at $225K.

Lashawn Nicole Smith was released from custody. No date has been given for her trial.

Lovers & Friends Audience Members Sue After Concert Trampling

Three people who attended the Lovers & Friends Las Vegas music festival last May are suing organizers for alleged negligence and unsafe conditions at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds.

The lawsuit was filed recently in Los Angeles County court by the attendees. It names Live Nation, NPB Companies, CrowdRX, Phil Ruffin (who owns the Las Vegas Festival Grounds), and Front Gate Ticketing Solutions as defendants.

On May 14, 2022, audience members ran toward the exits and trampled others in the audience after they heard suspected gunfire. Authorities later revealed there was no gunfire at the festival. The three plaintiffs suffered “serious injuries,” according to the lawsuit, and said medical care wasn’t provided at the scene after they asked for help.

One person died while attending the festival. The Clark County Coroner’s Office said the deceased person suffered from a heart condition, and the death was ruled an accident, according to Las Vegas TV station KVVU.

The Las Vegas Festival Grounds is located on the north end of the Las Vegas Strip near Circus Circus and holds about 85K people.