Public Defender Drops Case Of Nevada Inmate In Judge Slaying Plot

The Clark County Public Defender dropped the case Thursday of a Nevada ex-convict accused of trying to hire a hit man from his jail cell to kill a state judge, a prosecutor and a police detective handling his case.

Public Defender Philip Kohn said it might pose a conflict of interest to have a deputy public defender cross-examine the judge allegedly targeted for death by 42-year-old Daimon Devi Hoyt.

"We just want to make sure this case is clear and Mr. Hoyt knows he's getting fair representation," Kohn said after Hoyt's initial appearance in the murder-for-hire case. "We want to avoid any appearance of a conflict."

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Deborah Lippis turned Hoyt's case over to lawyer Charles Waterman, a private lawyer who contracts with the court. Waterman later declined comment.

Hoyt stood during the brief court proceeding, flanked by armed court officers and smiling as he held a new criminal complaint in his shackled hands. He was not asked to enter a plea.

He is accused of offering another Clark County jail inmate $10,000 per killing to murder Clark County District Court Judge Michelle Leavitt, prosecutor Sandra DiGiacomo and Detective Bradley Nickell.

Hoyt also uses the name Daimon Monroe.

He already faces life in prison as a habitual offender on other charges.

He's been jailed since November 2006 with bail set at more than $750,000 on multiple felony charges of burglary, conspiracy, possession of stolen property, weapons possession and sexual assault with a minor, according to jail and court records.

Kohn said the public defender's office would continue to represent Hoyt on those charges.