Las Vegas Driver Allegedly Drinking at Palms Bar Before Killing Two Troopers
Posted on: December 2, 2023, 06:34h.
Last updated on: December 4, 2023, 11:58h.
The man accused of plowing into two Nevada troopers on I-15 was allegedly drinking so heavily at a Palms Casino bar that he was ordered to leave the casino before the crash, according to news reports.
Moments before Thursday’s deadly accident — when Jemarcus Williams, 46, was at the Las Vegas nightspot — Palms security staff warned him if he got into his car, they would contact local police because of his apparent intoxication, according to Las Vegas TV station KLAS.
But Williams didn’t heed their warning and hid behind a tree, waiting for the guards to leave. He then snuck into his car and drove away, KLAS reported. A short time later, the car struck both Sergeant Michael Abbate and Trooper Alberto Felix early Thursday morning on I-15 near downtown Las Vegas. Both men died from their injuries.
Williams failed to stop at the crash site, police said. His extensively damaged car was located at an apartment complex about a mile from the accident scene, police said.
When Williams was apprehended, he still smelled of alcohol, according to unnamed sources.
Williams was charged with DUI resulting in death, reckless driving resulting in death, and failing to stop at the scene of a crash. Williams remains in custody at Clark County Detention Center as of Saturday. His bail was set at $500K.
During a brief appearance in Las Vegas Justice Court on Friday, Clark County prosecutor Shanon Clowers-Sanborn wanted his bail to be as high as $1M. Williams’s attorney wanted him released from jail with no bail, and just required to wear a monitoring device.
After hearing how Williams gave officers conflicting versions of what happened, Judge Daniel Westmeyer denied the requests.
“I didn’t kill them. You should be figuring out who did,” Williams initially told police after he was apprehended, the prosecutor revealed in court. At one point, he also claimed his friend was driving the vehicle. Later, he confessed he was the driver.
It’s me, I was driving, I wrecked them. I wrecked them,” the prosecutor quoted Williams’s later statement to officers, according to the Associated Press.
Williams is scheduled to next appear in Las Vegas court on Tuesday. He has yet to enter pleas on the charges. If convicted, he could face many years in prison.
In 2007, Williams was detained for a DUI in an unrelated case, according to KLAS.
Williams reportedly worked as a bell captain and valet. His employer was not immediately known.
The troopers in Thursday’s crash had stopped to check on a motorist who fell asleep in a car on the highway.
Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo, R, a former Clark County sheriff, mourned the two fallen troopers.
“This is a devastating loss for Nevada law enforcement, the city of Las Vegas, and our entire state. As we mourn these troopers, we will never forget their bravery, courage, and sacrifice,” Lombardo said in a statement.
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