Updated June 8, 2021 - 10:13 pm
A Las Vegas judge issued a bench warrant Tuesday for a man who skipped his sentencing for voluntary manslaughter.
Mauricio Milla, 50, pleaded guilty in August to beating another man with a steel bar and stabbing him.
On Tuesday, District Judge Michelle Leavitt revoked his bail.
“I don’t think it’s anything that I would worry that he’s disappeared on us,” Milla’s defense attorney, Alan Buttell, told the judge.
At the last hearing on May 11, Milla maintained his innocence.
“I am here for something that I didn’t do. Because somebody said they saw me do that,” he said. “I’m not a murderer.”
Milla entered a type of guilty plea that required him to admit only that prosecutors could prove their case against him.
The defendant, who was born in Mexico, signed the guilty plea agreement thinking he was a U.S. citizen and would not face possible deportation for the conviction, court documents show.
But a pre-sentence report indicated he was a permanent resident, not a citizen. He is awaiting a copy of his citizenship documents.
In July, the decomposing body of Mahdi Alrekaby, 52, was found in the desert near Searles Avenue and 23rd Street, near Eastern and Washington avenues, according to Las Vegas police.
A 4-foot steel bar also was found at the scene. Witnesses told police that Alrekaby and Milla had used it to hit each other during a fight over methamphetamine sometime in May.
Milla came back that night to where Alrekaby was sleeping in the desert and stabbed him before leaving a blanket over him, witnesses told police.
The defendant’s attorney argued in court documents that Alrekaby initiated the altercation and that Milla left immediately afterward and did not seek treatment for his injuries.
“Alrekaby was known to be aggressive and hostile when he was using drugs. Alrekaby is described as hostile in the police reports,” Buttell wrote. “During the argument, Alrekaby struck Mauricio in the head with a steel bar. They struggled and Mauricio was able to take possession of the steel bar and in self-defense hit Alrekaby.”
Buttell said Milla is motivated to stay sober and avoid the dangerous life he was living on the streets of Las Vegas.
“Mauricio understands and appreciates that probation in this matter is a great opportunity for him to turn his life around and become a successful productive member of the community,”
Buttell wrote in court records. “He deserves the opportunity to succeed.”
Milla has been out of custody on $40,000 bail.
If he doesn’t comply with the conditions of his guilty plea, Milla could be sentenced to four to 10 years in prison.
“I’m basically paying for something I didn’t do,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal last month. “With my freedom.”
Contact Briana Erickson at email@example.com or 702-387-5244. Follow @ByBrianaE on Twitter.