2 killed by SUV near downtown Las Vegas casinos; driver held

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A man and a woman from New Mexico were struck and killed by an SUV while crossing a busy street against a “don’t walk” signal at the downtown Fremont Street Experience casino mall, authorities in Las Vegas said Friday.

William Clayton Baxter Jr, 44, and Kristie Eileen Baxter, 51, from Hobbs, New Mexico, died Wednesday of multiple blunt force injuries and their deaths were ruled an accident, the Clark County coroner said. Police and coroner representatives said they did not have information whether the two were related.

Police and a prosecutor said Thursday the driver, Mykael Lanice-Lynn Terrell, 28, of Las Vegas, left the scene of the crash before she was stopped, arrested and jailed on suspicion of driving under the influence, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

Police said William Baxter was pronounced dead at the scene, at Fremont and 4th streets, and Kristie Baxter was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Terrell remained jailed Friday after appearing in court Thursday before a local judge who set bail at $100,000 and scheduled her to appear in court again on Jan. 4.

The criminal charges Terrell faces could get her a mandatory minimum prison sentence of two-to-20 years for each death if she is convicted. She will be asked to enter a plea if she is indicted or ordered by a judge to stand trial.

A deputy public defender temporarily assigned to represent Terrell, Marissa Pensabene, said in court that Terrell is a single mother of a 3-year-old who has lived in Las Vegas for more than three years and works as an account executive for an internet company. Pensabene declined outside court to comment.

The judge said that if Terrell posts bail, she cannot drive and must wear an ankle bracelet electronic monitor.

The Fremont Street Experience pedestrian crossing is a marked walkway beneath traffic signals on a three-lane, one-way street. It is often crowded with people making their way between casinos, stores, kiosks, street entertainers, bars and restaurants beneath a zip-line attraction and a four-block-long lighted video canopy.

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This story was first published December 29, 2022. It was updated to show that both victims were from New Mexico.

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