Crime

Man Accused of Las Vegas Strip Fatal Punch Claims He Was Stalked, Maintains Innocence

Brandon Leath, who allegedly threw a single fatal punch on the Strip Sunday, reportedly denies any wrongdoing. But he now faces a murder charge in the death of a retired police officer.

Thomas Driscoll, left, and Brandon Leath shown above. Leath allegedly threw a fatal punch at Driscoll near the Las Vegas Strip. He faces a murder charge in local court. (Images: CT State Police Alumni Association (left) and Metro Police)

Leath, 33, appeared in Las Vegas court this week for allegedly causing the death of a retired Connecticut state trooper who was visiting Nevada.

On Wednesday, when Leath appeared before Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Diana Sullivan, she warned him not to speak in court. But he did so anyway.

“I have been stalked, and there have been people that have been doing a lot of things,” Leath told Sullivan, according to local news reports. “…This is very serious. This is my life. Ma’am, I did not do anything wrong.”

The case was continued until later this month. Earlier this week, Leath was being held at the Clark County Detention Center without bail.

Mace Yampolsky was appointed to represent Leath. He is a criminal defense attorney in Nevada and is a past president of the Nevada Attorneys for Criminal Justice.

Yampolsky had no comment to the media when asked about the murder case. If convicted, Leath could face life in prison.

Shortly after the punch, Leath was apprehended by police officers near The Mirage. He denied punching Driscoll, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported based on police statements. But he confirmed he was in the area of the incident, the report adds.

The victim, Thomas Driscoll, 57, of Chicopee, Mass. worked for the Connecticut State Police for 22 years before retiring in 2009. For much of his career, he was assigned to the bomb squad.

At about 4:30 am Sunday, Driscoll and a woman were walking across a pedestrian bridge between The Cromwell Las Vegas Casino and Bally’s Las Vegas Casino. Leath began arguing with them, police said.

Then, the couple took a downward escalator. Leath allegedly made his way down nearby stairs.

The confrontation continued at the base of the escalator where Leath allegedly punched Driscoll. The ex-trooper fell onto his back from the impact.

Driscoll was taken to Sunrise Medical Hospital in Winchester, Nev. He was declared dead about an hour later, KLAS, a local TV station, reported.

An autopsy by the Clark County coroner’s office ruled the death was a homicide. Driscoll suffered injuries to the area near the base of his skull.

The woman was later identified as Nava Fuehrer. She apparently was not injured.

The incident was captured on surveillance camera video. It later was reviewed by local police.

Leath Allegedly Involved in Prior Unrelated Violence

Following the fatal attack, two unnamed men told KVVU, a local TV station, that they had tried to report Leath to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police for an alleged violent attack and other crimes unrelated to Driscoll.

The two men alleged Leath was a “ticking time bomb.” Leath allegedly punched one of the two men in a local convenience store near Fremont Street, the TV report said.

The man became unconscious after getting knocked out, the report claims.

“I have to see a doctor about my possible concussion,” the victim told the TV station. He claims to suffer from headaches and blurred vision, the report adds.

Prior Strip Violence

Since last year, there has been an uptick in violent crime along the Strip. Several people were hospitalized after shootings and other violence took place on or near the Strip.

In response, Metro police and other law enforcement agencies initiated a selective enforcement program called Operation Persistent Pressure.

Ed Silverstein

Gaming Law, Tribal Gaming, Crime, Gaming Research----An award-winning journalist with credits ranging from the Associated Press to American Lawyer Media, Ed joined the Casino.org news team in 2019 with decades of legal reporting expertise under his belt. His past reporting and editing assignments include Cowles Business Media, Columbia University Press, the Connecticut Post, and Southern Connecticut Newspapers, Inc. Besides the law and its application to the gaming industry, Ed’s areas of expertise span business, courts, crime, politics, education, and state and local government. With an undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut (where he now lives), and master’s degrees from Harvard and Yale, Ed’s professional awards include recognition from the New England Press Association and New England AP News Executives. Email: ed.silverstein@casino.org

View Comments

  • I suspect he was stalked. I know the Snohomish county sheriff's out here in Washington along with the other local law enforcement of the surrounding cities do so themselves. The have the help of city, county employees as well as citizens police academy and whoever the big store chain's pay to harass the homeless out here. Followed the name to a place in new Jersey, just across the border from Connecticut. The retired cop only lived 2 1/2 hours from where Leath probably came from. It's police gangstalking and the extents they go through to try and make people get vomited, imprisoned or take their own lives. Snohomish county sheriff Adam Fortney is all for this kind of cruelty and is a big coward. My gut tells me that the dead cop deserves it, and Leath is literally protecting his own life. Gangstalking is no joke, it happens everywhere around the world by a bunch of bored cowards trying to get their rocks off.

  • Responding to Tom Jones,

    Medical Examiner ruled it a homicide because he/she feels that the deliberate and unlawful action of the suspect caused the victim to fall a strike the back of his head causing the injury that led to his death. Therefore, the victim died at the hands of another making it a homicide.

  • So wait. How is this ruled a homicide if the blow was to the base/back of the head? Was he punched in the back of the head or the face?

  • The victims family better keep a close eye on this case. Because the "mighty" Clark County judicial machine has an extensive record of light punishment for loitering brutes that kill strip tourists in this manner. And the light sentences all applied to series of near identical cases as here. They've already begun to downgrade the incident as a mere "fight" and "just random". Exactly the way they made light of the other deadly punching attacks. Even though the suspect became enraged almost on sight of the passing couple. Then pursued and trapped them on the escalator end point. But again, hostile intentions like this has become ordinary on the late night Las Vegas strip now for years. Where it's become all but impossible to walk even 3 blocks on Las Vegas Blvd. anymore without being accosted, confronted or targeted in some direct way. Let it be known that this attack was not "random" or "incidental" at all. But very predictable.

  • Another tragedy. Put the crazy liar away. He’s a danger to society. When we visit Las Vegas we should not have to Worry about our life being threatened by such an idiot.

  • Drais is a problem every weekend that this club is open the fights outside the club stabbing the valet guy last year shootings etc. it’s a constant problem. The club pushes these incidences outside the club so they claim the patrons are passerby or from the Cromwell. This club is a nuesince and the city does not need this type of club. How many people have to die in front of the Cromwell

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Ed Silverstein