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Metro Police Solve 107 Murders in 2009, 14 Cases Remain Open

LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas homicide detectives had an 83-percent solve rate in 2009. In all, they arrested suspects in 107 out of 121 murders.

Police saw a 10-percent drop in murders from 2008 to 2009, down 36 from the peak in 2006. Still, police have 14 unsolved murders on their books for 2009. In each case, police have few suspects and even fewer leads.

Prosecutors to Seek Death Penalty

LAS VEGAS -- Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty against a California man charged with sexually assaulting and strangling a Las Vegas woman at her home in January.

The Clark County district attorney's office made the announcement Wednesday. Derrick Valentine is charged with a count of murder and two counts of sexual assault in the Jan. 22 death of 35-year-old Melodie Walker. The 37-year-old Valentine has pleaded not guilty. A hearing in the case is set for April 7.

Valentine is from Pasadena, Calif. He's accused of killing Walker after she tripped a burglar alarm trying to escape during what Valentine allegedly told police was forced sexual contact. The coroner ruled Walker was strangled. Valentine is being held at the Clark County jail.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 

More Homeowners Falling Delinquent on Mortgages

LAS VEGAS -- The number of Southern Nevada homeowners delinquent on their mortgage payments has climbed steadily for the past several months. In some cases, it's people just willing to walk away from their homes, and in other cases, homeowners are holding out hope that they will get a loan modification.

In any given neighborhood, chances are good that a homeowner is the process of walking away from their mortgage. In the past, five months was typically the longest a homeowner could stay in their home until the bank would come knocking. But that is no longer the case.

Nick Nolf with The Nolf Group has been in the real estate business through the boom, the bust, and now the slow turn-around.

Las Vegas Metro Officer Involved In Shooting Has Been Identified

Las Vegas metro police officer involved in recent shooting has been identified. The officer involved in the March 23rd, 2010, officer involved shooting, in which Officer Madland was seriously injured has been identified as Officer Christopher Le Blanc. Officer Le Blanc has been with the L.V.M.P.D. since November of 2001 and is currently assigned to Patrol Services, Saturation Team.

Woman Shot and Killed at Silver Pines Apartments

LAS VEGAS - One person is dead after a dispute between several people lead to a shooting at the Silver Pines apartment complex near Russell Road and Boulder Highway late Friday night.

According to police, shortly before 11:00pm Metro responded to call of a shooting and found an African American female dead in one of the apartments from an apparent gunshot wound to the chest.

Roughly an hour before the shooting there was a disturbance at the apartment between the victim and several other individuals. According to witnesses at the scene, an unknown African American male knocked on the apartment door then fired several rounds into the apartment striking the victim.

The suspect fled in an unknown direction and no description could be given.

One Key Unlocks 600 HUD Houses in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS -- Las vegas is on the cutting edge of a new scam: People posing as real estate agents illegally collecting rental deposit money on government-owned homes.

One key gains access to around 600 empty homes in the federal HUD housing program. This creates a gaping hole for scam artists to walk right through.

"They could theoretically get into all 600 houses that we have," said HUD Director Kenneth Lobene. "It could be a problem. Hopefully the things that we're going to do will help to prevent that."

A Las Vegas woman was arrested last week for scamming a local man out of $500. She's accused of posing as a real estate agent, breaking into the government-owned home and posting it on Craigslist.

She allegedly stole rental deposit money from people interested in the deals she was offering.

Police Break Up Cockfighting Ring

LAS VEGAS -- Police made a big discovery at an East Las Vegas home while serving an arrest warrant. While searching for the suspect, they found an unlicensed restaurant and roosters clearly bred for fighting.

At least 26 roosters were found at a home near Bonanza and Nellis.

Originally, police were called to serve an arrest warrant. They didn't find the suspect but found evidence the home was used as an unlicensed restaurant. Upon further investigation, they found the dozens of roosters in the backyard and items used for cockfighting.

Las Vegas Metro Police Officer Marcus Martin says they were lucky to find the roosters in time.

"Here we're looking for someone who is subject to a warrant and we find an illegal and well-equipped kitchen. And, that leads further to what we believe is nothing short of animal abuse," he said.

Police also say the roosters were mutilated to help the animal fight better.