Inmate serving life for fatal Vegas bombing escapes prison
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Authorities were searching Tuesday for a 42-year-old convicted bombmaker who escaped from a Nevada prison where he was serving a life sentence for a deadly 2007 explosion outside a Las Vegas Strip resort.
Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered an investigation into the incident after he said late Tuesday his office learned the escapee had been missing from the medium-security prison since early in the weekend.
“This is unacceptable,” Sisolak said in a statement.
Officials didn’t realize until Tuesday morning Porfirio Duarte-Herrera was missing during a head count at Southern Desert Correctional Center near Las Vegas. A state Department of Corrections statement said search teams were looking for him.
Duarte-Herrera, from Nicaragua, was convicted in 2010 of killing a hot dog stand vendor using a motion-activated bomb in a coffee cup atop a car parked at the Luxor hotel-casino.
Records show his co-defendant, Omar Rueda-Denvers, remained in custody Tuesday. The 47-year-old from Guatemala is serving a life sentence at a different Nevada prison for murder, attempted murder, explosives and other charges.
A Clark County District Court jury spared both men from the death penalty in the slaying of Willebaldo Dorantes Antonio, whom prosecutors identified as the boyfriend of Rueda-Denvers’ ex-girlfriend.
Prosecutors said jealousy was the motive for the attack on the top deck of a two-story parking structure. The blast initially raised fears of a terrorist attack on the Strip.
Officials described Duarte-Herrera as 5 feet, 4 inches tall and 135 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair.
Sisolak said his office ordered corrections officials to “conduct and complete a thorough investigation into this event as quickly as possible.”
“This kind of security lapse cannot be permitted and those responsible will be held responsible,” he said.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.