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Hearing to look into death of person fleeing NHP troopers

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Updated: 11/04/2013 11:43 am
LAS VEGAS — The Police Fatality Public Fact-finding Review into the September 2012 death of Alejandro Sanchez-Escoto will be held at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Clark County Government Center Commission Chambers, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway in downtown Las Vegas.

The review will be aired live on Clark County Television (CCTV) and streamed over the County Internet site at www.ClarkCountyNV.gov.

According to reports, at about 4:30 a.m. on Sept. 7, 2012, officers with the Nevada Highway Patrol confronted Sanchez-Escoto as he was walking along the I-215 Beltway near South Decatur Boulevard. While fleeing from police, Sanchez-Escoto jumped or fell from the highway overpass onto Decatur and died.

The review of this incident will be presided over by Hearing Officer William Jansen, who was a longtime Las Vegas Township Justice of the Peace.

Jennifer Bolton, a criminal defense attorney, will serve as ombudsman for the review.

Presiding officers and ombudsmen are selected by the county manager from lists approved by the County Commission. The ombudsman represents the public and the deceased’s family in this fact-finding review.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Pam Weckerly will represent the district attorney’s office in this proceeding.

This is the fifth fact-finding review, which replaced the process known as the “coroner’s inquest.” Under this new process adopted by the County Commission in January, when a police-involved death occurs and the district attorney’s office preliminarily determines that no criminal prosecution of the officer or officers involved is appropriate, the district attorney calls for a police fatality public fact-finding review.

Presiding officers and ombudsmen are then selected by the county manager from lists approved by the County Commission. Next, the presiding officer selects a date and location for the review.

At the review, the representatives from the district attorney’s office present witnesses and make a presentation of the essential facts surrounding the police-involved death. After the prosecutors finish their presentation, the presiding officer and ombudsman may also ask questions.

The procedure for questioning witnesses is informal and intended to provide the public with relevant information about the use of force. Members of the public observing the review may submit proposed written questions to the presiding officer on forms available at the review. The presiding officer may ask the proposed questions, revise them or decline to ask them if he deems them “redundant, irrelevant or an abuse of the review process,” according to County ordinance.

At the end of the review, no formal determination about the manner or cause of death is rendered.

— From news release
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