"Shoot the black guy" - prosecutor introduces hate crime angle to the murder of Kevin Mendiola, Jr.
By Jacob Nakamura
Nevada prosecutor Michael Schwartzer said the three suspects in the murder of Kevin Mendiola, Jr. could face the death penalty if convicted of capital murder.
Under Nevada law, someone convicted of murder with an aggravating circumstance can be put to death by lethal injection.
Mr. Schwartzer said Shawn McDonnell, 30, Christopher McDonnell, 28, and Kayleigh Lewis, 25, could face terrorism and hate crime charges - both on the list of aggravating circumstances under Nevada law. This would be on top of the battery of murder, attempted murder, and gun shooting charges with felony enhancements for gang activity and the use of deadly weapons for which the Clark County District Attorney already is charging Christopher McDonnell.
Shawn McDonnell remains hospitalized for gunshot wounds sustained during the three suspects's capture by police in Arizona hours after a shooting rampage in Henderson, Nevada that left Guam son Kevin Mendiola, Jr. dead, and several others injured and terrified. Ms. Lewis remains in the custody of the La Paz County Jail in Arizona, and has not yet been charged in the case.
The McDonnells are brothers, according to reports in the Associated Press, and Ms. Lewis is married to Christopher McDonnell.
While in custody, Christopher McDonnell told investigators his brother told him to "shoot the black guy" and referenced an "upcoming war" as the trio went on an 11-hour shooting spree in two states Thanksgiving morning. They drove up from their hometown of Tyler, Texas to Nevada, began their shooting rampage shortly after midnight, then moved on to Parker, Arizona.
Shawn McDonnell's Facebook page is filled with nationalist postings and comments.
The State of Nevada has not executed anyone in years.
In December 2010, Las Vegas resident Michelle Antwanette Paet, originally of Tamuning, was arrested in Las Vegas in the shooting murder of her husband, Nathan Paet of Yona, and faced the death penalty in that state. She plead guilty to the murder charge and instead received a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole in 2016.