Couple from Louisiana indicted in Vegas duffel bag slaying


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LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Louisiana ex-convict and his girlfriend have been indicted in Las Vegas on murder charges that could get them the death penalty in the killing of a 71-year-old woman whose body was found in a duffel bag in an underground utility vault.

A nine-count indictment filed Thursday in Clark County District Court also charges Jamar Kenty Webb and Veronica Johnvae Houck with conspiracy, kidnapping, robbery and possession and use of stolen credit cards in the death of Young Suk Sanchez.

Prosecutor Marc DiGiacomo said Friday that a decision on whether to seek capital punishment will be made in coming weeks.

Webb's attorney, David Schieck said Webb will plead not guilty at arraignment Wednesday. Webb, 33, has been at the Clark County jail in Las Vegas since his transfer in custody in October following his arrest in Minden, Louisiana.

Houck, 23, is in a Louisiana prison, serving a four-year term after being found guilty last month of violating felony probation stemming from a May 2013 identity theft conviction.

DiGiacomo said prosecutors will seek Houck's extradition to Las Vegas to stand trial.

Sanchez's decomposing body was found Sept. 22 by a utility worker near a complex of extended-stay suites in a casino district southeast of downtown Las Vegas. Police said Houck and Webb were Sanchez's neighbors.

The couple was arrested in Louisiana about two weeks later, after police traced spending on Sanchez's stolen credit cards, according to a police report.

Houck told police that Sanchez died Aug. 18 after she and Webb duct-taped the woman's feet, hands and mouth, put a trash bag over her head, set a cellphone timer and returned about 30 minutes later.

Webb was previously convicted in Louisiana of first-degree murder and battery of a police officer, and spent his entire adult life in prison before being released in December 2014, said Pam Laborde, spokeswoman for the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Ken Ritter

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