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Drug robbery sparked deadly Dec. 9 shooting in Las Vegas

Updated January 12, 2018 - 5:39 pm

A deadly December shooting in the northwest valley occurred during a botched drug robbery, according to a Las Vegas police report.

Court and booking records show that prosecutors charged Elijah A. Watson, 19, and Arick Marquiese Turner, a juvenile, with murder in the Dec. 9 shooting near Rainbow Boulevard and Alexander Road.

Each defendant also faces charges of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and attempted robbery. Turner faces an additional charge of carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

“Watson drove Turner to the drug deal knowing he was going to rob the drug dealer of his marijuana,” police wrote in Watson’s arrest report.

In return, the Metropolitan Police Department report said, Watson would be paid $15 and would get to smoke some of the pot.

Metro accused Turner of fighting with and then shooting Derian Contreras, 22, and the dealer at about 3:20 p.m. in the dealer’s garage on the 4100 block of Overbrook Drive.

Both the dealer and Contreras were hospitalized at University Medical Center, where Contreras died. The dealer was listed in critical condition.

Through the course of their investigation, according to the report, police learned that Watson had reached out to a middleman to broker a drug deal with Turner and the dealer. The middleman was a friend of Watson’s, and the friend later helped identify Turner to police as a suspect.

Watson dropped Turner off a few blocks from the dealer’s house to avoid being seen leaving the area, the report said.

From there, Turner walked toward the dealer’s house on Overbrook Drive, he said in a police interview. He told police he decided to pay for the marijuana while walking from the car to the house.

The dealer and Turner both said the fight started once Turner reached for the pocket he was using to hold cash and a handgun. The dealer said he feared he would be robbed and lunged at Turner as a result, according to the report.

Turner shot the dealer and Contreras during the fight.

The report said the dealer tried to shoot back, but his gun failed to fire.

Turner initially told police he had never been to Overbrook Street, but police told him they found a wallet holding his Nevada and Centennial High School IDs at the crime scene. According to the report, Turner then said he was part of a plan to rob the dealer of his pot.

Watson, too, denied knowledge of the robbery before further police questioning caused him to capitulate, according to the report. The arrest report said Watson drove Turner to the drug deal knowing Turner would try to rob the dealer.

Contact Mike Shoro at mshoro@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter.