Las Vegas teens accused of running over retired police chief in stolen car continue laughing in courtroom, taunt victim's grieving family

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Jzamir Keys, 16, and Jesus Ayala, 18, are accused of fatally mowing down 64-year-old retired police chief Andreas Probst with a stolen car on Aug. 14 — a horrific slaying caught on film, along with the duo's maniacal laughter. In court Tuesday, the alleged murderers kept on laughing.

The victim's daughter, Taylor Probst, was present at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas for the hearing. She indicated that Keys and Ayala "did not respect the court whatsoever. ... They were just d**king around the entire time," reported KSNV-TV.

The duo apparently also taunted the victim's grieving family.

"They (the defendants) were flipping us off," continued Taylor Probst. "They were snickering, laughing, trying to mad-dog us and intimidate us, which didn't work."

Taylor Probst said, "It just makes him look bad," referencing Ayala's rude gestures to the family. "How can you sit there after taking a man's life and act like such an entitled p***k?"

Crystal Probst, the victim's widow, said she didn't let the teens bother her despite their apparent efforts to intimidate the family, reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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District Judge Jacqueline Bluth informed the teens Tuesday that their trial was set for Sept. 16, 2024. They will both be tried as adults.

Ayala and Keys were indicted by a grand jury earlier this month on the following charges, enhanced because Probst was a senior citizen: murder with use of a deadly weapon; attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon; battery with use of a deadly weapon reslting in substantial bodily harm; and two counts of duty to stop at the scene of a crash involving death.

They also face unenhanced felony charges of residential burglary, use of a deadly weapon, three counts of grance larceny auto, and three counts of possession of a stolen vehicle.

Both pleaded not guilty on Oct. 11.

Although Nevada has the death penalty, the teens are not eligible on account of their age. They instead face a maximum of life in state prison.

David Westrook, Ayala's attorney, said he intends to seek the release of his client from jail pending trial, reported the Las Vegas Sun.

Ayala and Keys appear to have filmed parts of their rampage, including when they allegedly drove a white sedan off the road, then targeted Probst, the former police chief of Bell, California, for slaughter.

In the gruesome video, one perpetrator asks the other, "Ready?"

The other responds, "Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Hit his a**," all the while laughing.

The stolen 2016 Hyundai Elantra allegedly used by the duo to hit Probst was reportedly found less than 10 minutes away from where the victim's body was found with blood splashed across its windshield.

Probst was not the duo's only alleged victim.

Police found another video on Ayala's cell phone of a second bicyclist being struck by a Kia Soul.

KLAS-TV indicated that in the video of the second incident, taken by Ayala, a voice can be heard repeatedly urging the driver to "bump him," referencing a 72-year-old man riding his bicycle on the far side of the street. Both suspects cackle as their car's engine can be heard accelerating.

The elderly victim suffered a knee injury but ultimately survived.

Ayala can be heard in bodycam footage later telling his arresting officer, "You think this juvenile [expletive] is gonna do some [expletive]? I'll be out in 30 days, I'll bet you."

Ayala, whose criminal record in the juvenile system is substantial, added, "It's just ah, [expletive] ah, hit-and-run — slap on the wrist."

His mother told KLAS her son might be beyond saving, saying, "I don't know why he did this. ... I don't know if God can forgive this."

Taylor and Crystal Probst indicated they will continue to attend the teens' court appearances, seeking justice and carrying on the victim's memory.

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Parents of severely autistic woman who rotted away for a decade and 'melted' into family couch are re-charged with her murder

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The remains of Lacey Ellen Fletcher were found last January "melted" into her parents' living room couch in Slaughter, Louisiana. The shocking discovery of the 36-year-old autistic woman's body, which may have been stuck there for well over a decade in the lead-up to her death, was said by the overseeing coroner to have been "something you make horror movies about."

The victim's parents, Sheila and Clay Fletcher, were indicted on May 2, 2022, for second-degree murder in their daughter's death — shortly after Sheila resigned from her role as town alderman.

Their trial was set to begin last week; however, in May, District Judge Kathryn Jones dismissed the indictments against the couple, citing defective language in the charging affidavits, reported the Advocate.

Following through on his promise, East and West Feliciana Parish District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla has re-charged the 65-year-olds with murder.

D’Aquilla previously underscored that "this case was so horrific. ... You don't treat anybody or animals like that."

What's the background?

TheBlaze previously reported that Lacey was found in a partial state of undress, sitting upright on a couch in her parents' home on Jan. 3, 2022, "covered in feces from head to toe" with "insects all over her body," according to East Feliciana Parish coroner Dr. Ewell Dewitt Bickham III.

Bickham ruled the death a homicide resultant of "acute medical neglect" dating back well over a decade.

This neglect allegedly "led to chronic malnutrition, acute starvation, immobility, acute ulcer formation, osteomyelitis which is bone infection which led finally to sepsis."

Lacey had reportedly not seen a doctor since she was 16.

"The scene was sickening. I've seen some horrible things in my life but nothing like this," said Bickham, a 30-year practicing physician. He estimated that Lacey was likely sitting sunken into a hole she had made in the couch after not moving from it, possibly for years.

"When I first walked in the house, it smelled of feces, fecal material, however you want to put that politely, it stunk. And when I got to the body, the individual was basically sitting in a hole, filled with liquid stool and urine," Bickham told WAFB-TV. "It’s the worst form of medical neglect I’ve ever seen. I don’t know any other adjectives or adverbs to add to that."

According to the Advocate, when East Feliciana Parish sheriff's deputies found the victim, her emaciated body weighed 96 pounds and was infected with COVID-19. Lacey was covered in maggots, ulcers, and other sores. Fecal matter was crushed into her face and across the supermajority of her body.

While Lacey was reportedly diagnosed with "severe" Asperger's and social anxiety, her parents claimed she was "of sound mind to make her own type of decisions" and content to rot away on the couch, right next to Sheila Fletcher's recliner in front of the family television.

"The question on everybody’s mind is, how could they be caretakers living in the house with her and have her get in a condition like that?” said Aquilla. "It’s cruelty to the infirm. We can’t just let it sit."

Bickham told the Daily Mail that when he was presenting the case and showed the pictures to the grand jury, everyone was in utter shock, "Like the clock on the wall never moved again. ... There was complete silence. Some jurors were gasping in horror. Some were staring in disbelief."

WBRZ-TV reported that upon their grand jury indictment for murder charges carrying possible life sentences, the victim's parents turned themselves in and were booked into jail.

One day later, Sheila Fletcher bonded out at $300,000. Clay Fletcher bonded out shortly thereafter.

Bungled indictment

The Fletchers' defense attorney, Steven Moore, filed a motion to quash the indictments early last month, stating that D'Aquilla's office served a different indictment to the defendants than the one filed with the Clerk of Court.

"In sum, the indictment in the record is either a substitute or a different indictment returned by the grand jury," Moore wrote in his motion.

Moore also suggested that the original indictment lacked a signature from the grand jury foreperson as required by law to validate the charging document, reported the Advocate.

According to WAFB, Judge Jones rejected the arguments from the defense that there was no specific intent and that the indictment was not signed by the foreperson, but agreed that the wording had been botched. As a result, she tossed the indictments during a May 30 hearing.

D'Aquilla indicated he'd reindict the Fletchers on June 19, the date their trial was originally scheduled to begin.

Take two

D'Aquilla revived the case and on June 19, brought it before another grand jury, which determined the Fletchers should be tried for second-degree murder in the death of their daughter.

The couple was re-arrested but once again made bond.

D'Aquilla said in a statement, "We will ensure there is justice for Lacey and the public knows that caregivers will be charged for neglecting or abusing a person in their care."

The Fletchers are expected to go on trial this fall.

Woman ‘melted’ to couch; autopsy showed she was eating it, parents out on bond

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Video: Angry father restrained in court from going after suspects accused of killing his daughter

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Video captured the moment an angry father had to be restrained in court when he tried to go after defendants accused of murdering his daughter.

What are the details?

Caitlyn Kaufman, 26, was fatally shot on Interstate 440 on her way to work in Tennessee on Dec. 3, 2020, WSMV-TV reported, adding that she was a nurse at Ascension Saint Thomas hospital in Nashville.

Davaunte Hill and James Cowan are accused of killing Kaufman, the station said, and the pair were in a Davidson County courtroom for a motion hearing Tuesday morning.

Image source: WTVF-TV video screenshot

So was Rick Kaufman, the victim's father.

Video from inside the courtroom caught Rick Kaufman moving through a partition toward the defendants — but he was quickly restrained and then removed from the courtroom, WSMV said, adding that Kaufman sat outside the courtroom for the remainder of the hearing.

Diane Kaufman, the victim’s mother, stayed inside the courtroom and teared up throughout the morning, the station said.

What's the background?

Caitlyn Kaufman was driving in rush-hour traffic when six bullets entered her car, WTVF-TV reported, adding that she was hit once, pulled over to the shoulder, and died before she could call 911.

Image source: WTVF-TV video screenshot

Police believe road rage was a factor in the shooting, WTVF also said, adding that police said both defendants were in another car, and one shot at Kaufman. Hill and Cowan are charged with first-degree murder, WTVF said.

Police said they discovered who killed Kaufman after a man traded guns with Hill, then came forward to police for reward money, WSMV said, adding that the man in question also was a confidential police informant.

The Kaufman family is from Pennsylvania, WSMV said, adding that Caitlyn Kaufman moved to Nashville after becoming a nurse.

Hill and Cowan are facing life in prison, WSMV reported.

Prosecutors want to change Kyle Rittenhouse's bail conditions after he was reportedly seen legally drinking with 'Proud Boys,' flashing 'white power' sign

Kenosha County prosecutors are seeking a modification to Kyle Rittenhouse's bail conditions after he was reportedly spotted out and about with members of the Proud Boys.

During the outing, the 18-year-old also reportedly flashed the "OK" hand sign, known as the "white power" gesture in certain circles.

Though prosecutors have admitted that none of these things are bail violations, they are moving to modify the bail to ensure he's not able to engage in such behaviors or fraternize with certain people again.

Rittenhouse posted a $2 million bail in November after facing charges of killing two people during an August riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

What are the details?

Kenosha County prosecutors filed a Wednesday motion seeking to modify the 18-year-old's bail conditions.

The move comes on the heels of witnesses reportedly seeing Rittenhouse drinking at a bar with his mother. It is legal to drink in the company of one's parents in Wisconsin.

Witnesses, however, are now saying that Rittenhouse wasn't just in the company of his mother — but with members of the Proud Boys, according to WTMJ-TV.

Business Insider reported, "Footage taken from security cameras at Pudgy's Bar also appears to show Rittenhouse flashing the 'OK' hand sign favored by white supremacists."

Rittenhouse — who was sporting a T-shirt that read "Free as f***" — reportedly flashed the sign while posing for pictures with other patrons at the bar. You can view one of the photos in question here.

WTMJ reported that he "drank several beers and was 'loudly serenaded' with the Proud Boys' official song at a Mount Pleasant bar."

Prosecutors are now arguing that while these things are not violations of Rittenhouse's bail conditions, they should be.

"In a motion to modify Rittenhouse's bond Wednesday, the Kenosha County District Attorney's Office details Rittenhouse's Jan. 5 visit to Pudgy's Pub with his mother," the station reported. "Rittenhouse stopped at the Mount Pleasant tavern shortly after pleading not guilty to homicide charges in connection to the Kenosha shooting. Rittenhouse's attorneys argue he fired his rifle in self-defense."

WTMJ obtained a copy of the Kenosha County District Attorney's Office, which requested the Rittenhouse be prohibited from consuming alcohol or being present in any establishment where alcohol is served, prohibited from displaying "white power" signs, and prohibited from having any contact whatsoever with members of violent or extremist groups.

You can read more on the filing here.

Rittenhouse is due back in court on March 10.