Las Vegas Strip Motel 8 Murder Suspect Heading to Court

Posted on: June 20, 2023, 04:59h. 

Last updated on: June 21, 2023, 11:00h.

A man accused of murder at the Las Vegas Strip’s Motel 8 is scheduled to appear at a Justice Court hearing on June 29.

Sign for Las Vegas Strip’s Motel 8
Sign for Las Vegas Strip’s Motel 8, pictured above. A defendant will appear in court later this month for a murder at the motel. (Image: Planet of Hotels)

Bryan Contreras, 32, was arrested on an open murder with a deadly weapon charge on June 9 for the 2021 incident.

A recently-released police report revealed the Aug. 23, 2021 deadly shooting of Jesse Poncelet, 32, was intentional, based on a statement from a witness, Las Vegas TV station KLAS reported.

Contreras, his girlfriend, Poncelet, and three others were in a room at the Motel 8 on South Las Vegas Boulevard when a gun discharged and Poncelet fell to the floor. He later died from the wound at University Medical Center.

Autopsy Reveals Homicide

Initially, it was believed the shooting at the motel was an accident. Poncelet’s death was later ruled a homicide following an autopsy by the Clark County coroner’s office, which found that Poncelet died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

After the shooting, Contreras allegedly fled from the motel, which is located on South Las Vegas Boulevard near Hacienda Avenue and across from the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

Contreras was later identified and apprehended. Police found out he was a convicted felon, so officers charged him with being a prohibited person in possession of a gun.

Several Court Appearances

At first, Judge Joseph Bonaventure released Contreras on his own recognizance on Aug. 24, 2021. Initially, he refused to speak with Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) detectives about the shooting.

Then, in October 2021, Contreras and his girlfriend were arrested in Laughlin, Nev. Contreras had a pending charge from California on an undisclosed criminal count.

When Contreras didn’t show up for a court hearing on the gun charge, Judge Eric Goodman issued a warrant for his arrest on March 15, 2022. As police further investigated the fatal shooting, another arrest warrant was issued on March 29 by Justice Court Judge Amy Chelini.

Contreras and his unnamed girlfriend were drug addicts, the police report claimed. A drug paraphernalia charge against her is apparently pending.

Contreras appeared in Las Vegas Justice Court on the open murder charge on June 12, and remains in custody at the Clark County Detention Center.

If convicted on the two charges, Contreras could face decades in prison.