Brandon Leath who allegedly threw a single fatal punch on the Strip Sunday reportedly denies any wrongdoing. But he now faces a murder charge in the death of a retired police officer.
Leath, 33, appeared in Las Vegas court this week for allegedly causing the death of a retired Connecticut state trooper who was visiting Nevada.
On Wednesday, when Leath appeared before Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Diana Sullivan, she warned him not to speak in court. But he did so anyway.
“I have been stalked, and there have been people that have been doing a lot of things,” Leath told Sullivan, according to local news reports. “…This is very serious. This is my life. Ma’am, I did not do anything wrong.”
The case was continued until later this month. Earlier this week, Leath was being held at the Clark County Detention Center without bail.
Mace Yampolsky was appointed to represent Leath. He is a criminal defense attorney in Nevada and is a past president of the Nevada Attorneys for Criminal Justice.
Yampolsky had no comment to the media when asked about the murder case. If convicted, Leath could face life in prison.
Shortly after the punch, Leath was apprehended by police officers near The Mirage. He denied punching Driscoll, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported based on police statements. But he confirmed he was in the area of the incident, the report adds.
The victim, Thomas Driscoll, 57, of Chicopee, Mass. worked for the Connecticut State Police for 22 years before retiring in 2009. For much of his career, he was assigned to the bomb squad.
At about 4:30 am Sunday, Driscoll and a woman were walking across a pedestrian bridge between The Cromwell Las Vegas Casino and Bally’s Las Vegas Casino. Leath began arguing with them, police said.
Then, the couple took a downward escalator. Leath allegedly made his way down nearby stairs.
The confrontation continued at the base of the escalator where Leath allegedly punched Driscoll. The ex-trooper fell onto his back from the impact.
Driscoll was taken to Sunrise Medical Hospital in Winchester, Nev. He was declared dead about an hour later, KLAS, a local TV station, reported.
An autopsy by the Clark County coroner’s office ruled the death was a homicide. Driscoll suffered injuries to the area near the base of his skull.
The woman was later identified as Nava Fuehrer. She apparently was not injured.
The incident was captured on surveillance camera video. It later was reviewed by local police.
Leath Allegedly Involved in Prior Unrelated Violence
Following the fatal attack, two unnamed men told KVVU, a local TV station, they had tried to report Leath to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police for an alleged violent attack and other crimes unrelated to Driscoll.
The two men alleged Leath was a “ticking time bomb.” Leath allegedly punched one of the two men in a local convenience store near Fremont Street, the TV report said.
The man became unconscious after getting knocked out, the report claims.
“I have to see a doctor about my possible concussion,” the victim told the TV station. He claims to suffer from headaches and blurred vision, the report adds.
Prior Strip Violence
Since last year, there has been an uptick in violent crime along the Strip. Several people were hospitalized after shootings and other violence took place on or near the Strip.
In response, Metro police and other law enforcement agencies initiated a selective enforcement program called Operation Persistent Pressure.
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