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Juror’s positive COVID test delays bombing retrial

The retrial within the deadly 2007 bombing at a Las Vegas Strip lodge has been postponed after a juror examined optimistic for COVID-19.

Jurors, who’re required to put on masks and be socially distanced, heard opening statements and testimony Wednesday within the retrial of Omar Rueda-Denvers.

The proceedings have been first placed on maintain Thursday after one juror reported feeling sick and one other had been uncovered to the virus, protection legal professional Christopher Oram stated.

Denvers, 45, is being retried for his position within the explosion of a steel pipe bomb that left one man lifeless within the Luxor parking storage on Might 7, 2007. The bomb initially stoked fears of a attainable terrorist assault on the Strip.

However prosecutors have stated it was planted by a jealous Rueda-Denvers.

The sufferer, 24-year-old Willebaldo Dorantes Antonio, was the brand new boyfriend of Rueda-Denvers’ ex-girlfriend.

Rueda-Denvers and his pal Porfirio Duarte-Herrera have been discovered responsible and sentenced to life in jail with out parole. Prosecutors initially sought the demise penalty.

A federal decide in 2019 granted Rueda-Denvers a brand new trial, ruling that he was unable to cross-examine his co-defendant, whose incriminating statements to police have been introduced to the jury.

On Wednesday, Oram stated Rueda-Denvers had adopted his ex-girlfriend the night time of the bombing as a result of he was on the lookout for the daughter they share collectively. Duarte-Herrera had a historical past of bomb making and had created the weapon months earlier than the crime, Oram stated.

Chief Deputy District Legal professional Christopher Hamner displayed safety footage of a automotive pulling as much as Antonio’s car 90 minutes earlier than the bombing.

He advised jurors he would show that the motive force was Rueda-Denvers and that the passenger, Duarte-Herrera, planted the bomb on high of Antonio’s automotive.

“There may be one widespread thread that hyperlinks all of this collectively,” he stated. “And it’s this man: Omar Rueda-Denvers.”

The trial, earlier than District Choose Michael Villani, can be postponed till Sept. 13.

Contact Briana Erickson at berickson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5244. Comply with @ByBrianaE on Twitter.

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