Accused Bombmaker in Las Vegas Strip Blast Hit with New Charges

By: Ken Ritter AP
By: Ken Ritter AP

New criminal charges were filed Thursday accusing one of two illegal immigrants held in a deadly bomb attack outside a Las Vegas Strip resort with planting a device that blew up last year outside a home improvement store.

Accused bombmaker Porfirio Duarte-Herrera, 27, of Nicaragua, appeared before a Las Vegas judge on felony charges of attempted
murder, malicious destruction of property, and weapons manufacture
and possession.

No one was injured in the Oct. 31 pipe bomb explosion that destroyed a truck in the parking lot of a Home Depot store in Las Vegas.

Police said Duarte-Herrera admitted building and placing the bomb on the right front tire of the pickup truck, and said he did not know the truck's owner.

Duarte-Herrera also told police he built the four-inch-long pipe bomb that killed a 24-year-old Mexican immigrant when it exploded early May 7 outside the Luxor hotel-casino, according to an arrest report submitted with court documents. The device was hidden in a plastic foam cup that exploded when Willebaldo Dorantes Antonio picked it up off the top of his car.

Duarte-Herrera denied placing the bomb, police said.

Duarte-Herrera appeared Thursday by closed-circuit television with a co-defendant who remains identified in court filings and arrest reports as Omar Rueda-Denvers, 31, of Panama. Police say the man also is known as Alexander Perez, and say they are still investigating his identity. He pleaded guilty early this month to having false identification.

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Tony Abbatangelo named Las Vegas
defense lawyer Peter Christiansen to represent the man after Clark
County public defenders found they had represented the man's ex-girlfriend in a separate case.

The judge also appointed special Clark County public defenders Charles Cano and Clark Patrick to represent Duarte-Herrera, and scheduled a preliminary hearing June 26.

The two defendants were not asked Thursday to enter pleas to the
amended criminal complaint. A felony charge of transporting a bomb
was added to previous charges of murder, attempted murder,
bombmaking and bomb possession in the Luxor case. Both men could
face life in prison if convicted.

Christiansen declined comment outside court, and Cano declined comment on specifics of the charges. Cano said Duarte-Herrera will
plead not guilty. Both defendants were being held without bail at the Clark County jail.

Police think Rueda-Denvers enlisted Duarte-Herrera in a plot to kill Dorantes Antonio because he was dating Rueda-Denvers' ex-girlfriend. The woman is the mother of Rueda-Denvers' child.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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