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Police fatality review of Nov. 2 shooting set for Friday

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Updated: 5/06/2013 11:53 am
LAS VEGAS -- The Police Fatality Public Fact-finding Review into the November 2012 death of Daniel Hathorne will be held at 9 a.m. Friday at the Clark County Government Center Commission Chambers, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway.

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

On Nov. 2, Hathorne was reportedly holding two knives to an elderly woman’s neck near Katie and Cambridge when he was shot by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Officers Russell Ellsworth and Brandon Oris. Both have been with Metro since 2008.

The review of this incident will be presided over by Thomas Pitaro, and Mark Bailus will serve as ombudsman. Both Pitaro and Bailus are longtime local attorneys who specialize in criminal law. 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.

This is the second fact-finding review, which replaced the process known as the “coroner’s inquest.” The first review was held in February.

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 District Attorney’s Office presents witnesses and makes a presentation of the essential facts surrounding the police-involved death. After the prosecutor has concluded with his 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.

CCTV will carry the entirety of the proceedings. It is available in the Las Vegas area on Channel 4 on Cox cable (Channel 89.13 for those without converter boxes) and on CenturyLink, as well as in Laughlin on Channel 14 via CMA Access and via the Internet at www.ClarkCountyNV.gov. A video recording of the review also will be available later for play on demand on the County website.

-- From news release
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