The act of breaking and entering made local headlines in Las Vegas when celebrity Wayne Newton testified in a Las Vegas courtroom against a man accused of breaking into the entertainer’s southeast valley home not once, but twice, in 2018.
The defendant is facing 11 felony charges including burglary, home invasion and grand larceny in connection with two June 2018 break-ins at Newton’s home near Lamb Boulevard and Oquendo Road, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The defendant was arrested in July 2018 after Las Vegas law enforcement tracked items stolen from Newton’s home to him. When law enforcement conducted a search of the defendant’s home, they discovered more property that was stolen from Newton’s home.
The first burglary was discovered on June 3, 2018, after a housekeeper arrived at Newton’s home. As she walked around the exterior of the home, she discovered a shattered glass door leading to a guest bedroom. The second break-in occurred on June 13, 2018, when the Newton’s arrived home late at night to find two men inside their house, including one holding a crowbar. Both of the men fled the scene before police arrived.
In both burglaries, closets in the home were ransacked and valuables were stolen, including jewelry and watches, Wayne Newton’s military medals, a revolver and two pens he received from casinos where he performed. Many items that Newton said were irreplaceable have yet to be recovered.
The state prosecutor introduced evidence of surveillance camera footage from a neighbor’s home showing two men in the backyard, including the face of the defendant.
The attorney for the defendant attempted to mitigate the damage associated with this surveillance camera footage by telling the jury straight up that the defendant was in fact identified in the footage. Though, the attorney made clear that there was no forced entry at the home associated with the surveillance footage and nothing was stolen. The defense attorney also argued that there was nothing to connect the defendant to the Newton burglary on June 13 other than surveillance footage from the Newton’s home that showed a man with a similar build.
The attorney for the defendant argued that detectives may have been pressured to try and solve these burglary cases with expediency rather than doing their due diligence. Why? Because of Wayne Newton’s fame and the attention placed on the burglaries from local and national media. The attorney for the defendant went so far as to describe him as being “used as a scapegoat,” according to the aforementioned Las Vegas Review-Journal article.
The criminal penalties associated with an alleged home invasion are codified in Nevada Revised Statute § 205.067. To trigger this statute, there must be evidence that someone forcibly entered an inhabited dwelling without permission of the lawful occupant or property owner. There is no distinction under the law whether the property owner, or owners, are physically present in the dwelling at the time of the alleged intrusion. It is important to note that a home invasion is distinct from the crime of burglary. Under Nevada law, a home invasion requires that the defendant “break and enter” into another person’s home.
Getting charged with an alleged home invasion is quite serious. It is a category B felony. If convicted, you could be ordered to serve up to 10 years in Nevada state prison and pay a $10,000 fine. If there is evidence that a firearm or other deadly weapon was used during the alleged invasion, the punishment escalates to 15 years in prison.
Being charged with home invasion is very serious. It is a felony offense and a conviction means you could be forced to spend years in prison and have the scarlet letter of a felony conviction on your permanent record. Your liberty is on the life. This means, if you are charged with this offense, you need to retain top-notch legal representation as soon as possible.
Contact LV Criminal Defense today to discuss your situation with an attorney.