Defense Lawyer Protests Airing Of Caesars Palace Shooting Video

A defense lawyer said Friday he'll ask a judge to order an investigation of the leak of a security videotape that appears to show his client shooting a gun at people last month at the Caesars Palace hotel-casino.

"We have been wronged here," said Scott Holper, lawyer for Richard Earl Shepherd, who pleaded not guilty Wednesday to three charges of attempted murder and two other felony counts in the early Aug. 4 shooting that left two people wounded. Shepherd, 34, could face life in prison if convicted.

"We're going to have to find out who released it and why they released it," Holper told The Associated Press in an interview.

"This can only hurt Mr. Shepherd and poison the jury."

Holper, police and prosecutors said they did not release the video, which was posted on YouTube.com.

"There's a lot of finger pointing, but I know we did not release it," Clark County District Attorney David Roger said.

Roger said the video, which was shown to the grand jury that indicted Shepherd last week, might be made public as part of the transcript of that proceeding.

Michael Sommermeyer, spokesman for the Clark County District Court, said the transcript has not yet been made public.

Caesars released the videos to police shortly after the shooting.

But Deborah Munch, spokeswoman for the casino, called the case a law enforcement matter and said Caesars and its parent company, Harrah's Entertainment Inc., do not make surveillance videos public.

The silent 30-second video clip shows two views: the inside of an elevator, and a casino parking structure elevator lobby.

It clearly shows a man who authorities identify as Shepherd pushing a
woman to the side and firing at least four shots when the elevator
doors open.

Several people run out of the lobby and one woman disappears into another elevator as flashes are seen from the muzzle of the handgun in the man's hand.

Another woman slips on the black-and-white checkered tile floor.

A man leaves the elevator, passing the gunman, as the woman with the gunman frantically pushes elevator buttons.

Police have said a fistfight preceded the 4 a.m. shooting after Shepherd confronted a 19-year-old man who made a comment about Shepherd's younger sister.

Shepherd, who police said was punched and knocked down in the scuffle, is accused of retrieving a gun from a vehicle, returning to the lobby and opening fire at Terrance Aubry, who police say made the comment.

Aubry was not wounded, but Vance Davis, 20, was shot in the arm and Markael Ballou, 23, was wounded in the leg.

Both were treated at a Las Vegas hospital and released.

Police have characterized Davis and Ballou as bystanders with no ties to Aubry.

However, Holper, who said he has spent hours reviewing other Caesars videos, said Aubry, Davis and Ballou are seen together with
a group of other men in other parts of the casino.

Most are dressed in a similar manner - white T-shirts and jeans.

Roger, the district attorney, said he did not think airing the video would taint a jury.

He noted jurors in Nevada are not excluded simply if they know about a case.

They are asked instead to set aside what they've heard about a case and reach a verdict based on evidence presented in court.

Holper portrayed the release of the 30-second video as unfair to Shepherd.

"It places him in a false light because what the public sees is one snippet, but not what actually happened," the defense lawyer said.


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