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Death penalty sought in killing of Vietnamese tour leaders

November 15, 2018

FILE--This undated Clark County Detention Center file booking photo, provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, shows Julius Trotter, 31. Prosecutors will seek the death penalty in Nevada against a 31-year-old convicted felon accused of killing two Vietnamese tour leaders last June during a break-in robbery in in their room at a Las Vegas Strip hotel. A trial date was not immediately set, and Julius Trotter's attorneys didn't immediately respond to messages about the decision announced Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, by prosecutor Michelle Fleck in Clark County District Court. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via AP, file)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A 31-year-old convicted felon will face the death penalty in the robbery and killing of two Vietnamese tour leaders during a break-in to their room at a Las Vegas Strip hotel, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Julius Damiano Deangilo Trotter’s defense attorneys did not immediately respond to messages about the decision made public during Trotter’s brief appearance in custody in Clark County District Court.

Trotter could learn his trial date during his next court appearance Dec. 5, prosecutor Michelle Fleck said.

He is being held without bail at the Clark County jail in Las Vegas after pleading not guilty to murder, burglary and robbery in the June 1 stabbings of Sang Boi Nghia and Khoung Ba Le Nguyen in a room at the Circus Circus hotel.

Nghia owned a tour business in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Nguyen was a tour employee.

Police later found the door latch to their 21st-floor room didn’t work properly. A court filing described a method in which would-be thieves walk hotel hallways checking room doors to see if they’ll push open.

Hotel owner MGM Resorts International said it was not clear if the door lock was broken before or after Nghia and Nguyen were killed.

Trotter was arrested June 7 in Chino, California.

Trotter was on five years’ probation at the time of the killings after pleading guilty last year to felony resisting a police officer with a weapon.

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