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Teen to stand trial in Summerlin slaying

Updated September 30, 2021 - 8:07 pm

Antonia Reyes found her son-in-law, Vergel Guintu, lying in a pool of blood at the foot of the stairs of their Summerlin home.

And then she spotted a figure in black.

“I saw the killer run to my room and I screamed and screamed,” she said through a translator Thursday during a preliminary hearing for 16-year-old Ethan Goin. “He ran to my bedroom.”

Reyes and Guintu had just finished breakfast.

Guintu, 48, clutched his neck, with his cellphone in his other hand. He tried to say something, she testified, but she could not understand him.

After more than three hours of testimony from Reyes and others, Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Harmony Letizia found that prosecutors had enough evidence to present murder and burglary charges against Goin to a jury.

Authorities have said Goin broke into the home at 10127 Kenton Place on Aug. 27 and stabbed Guintu before returning to class at Palo Verde High School, wearing the same black clothing.

Metropolitan Police Department homicide detective Opal Deeds arrived at the scene shortly after 11 a.m. that day.

Deeds found a large pool of blood at the foot of the stairs in the home, with splatters on the wall and some of the lower stairs, and bloody footprints leading to Reyes’ downstairs bedroom. Her bedroom window had been shattered.

Investigators found a trail of blood from the bedroom, through the backyard and on a religious statue in the back corner near a wall of the property, Deeds testified.

Police returned to the home the next day, when someone reported seeing a suspicious person wearing black clothing in a nearby neighborhood.

Detective Jarrod Grimmitt later testified that he spotted Goin dressed in black while getting into an Uber outside a home on Via Roma Place.

The teen matched the description from witnesses, so Grimmett stopped the Uber and asked Goin if he would answer a few questions.

The teen agreed, Grimmett testified, and the detective noticed blood on the inside of the boy’s black, “police-style” combat boots. Grimmett asked fellow officers to handcuff Goin, and the teen took off running.

Deeds testified that she stopped Goin in the parking garage of Summerlin Hospital Medical Center after yelling that he could be shot.

She told Deputy Public Defender Sarah Hawkins that Goin “didn’t really have any emotions” and did not make eye contact with officers while they detained him, adding that the behavior seemed odd.

Prosecutors played a roughly 40-minute recorded clip of Goin’s interview with police.

The teen could be heard repeatedly telling officers he did not remember what happened inside Guintu’s house.

Goin said he was bullied during his first-period class at Palo Verde High School, so he left school and did not recall where he went.

He remembered crouching in the backyard of Guintu’s house, seeing a window, and mentally debating whether he was going to enter the home, but he told detectives that “everything about yesterday was a haze.”

Goin recalled later seeing himself holding a bloody knife in the reflection of a mirror at his own home.

He told his mother he left school because he had been bullied, and she told him to return. He spoke with a friend at Palo Verde and went to his history class. After school, he said, he went to the gym.

Hawkins pointed out that, during the interview, Goin told police he had been prescribed an undisclosed medication, but he stopped taking it about a year ago.

Hawkins added that Goin had been hospitalized previously for “mental health issues” and was most recently released Aug. 18 – nine days before Guintu’s death.

“We’ve heard a child tell them over and over that he didn’t remember what happened,” Hawkins said.

Throughout the day, Goin told detectives, he repeatedly searched “Summerlin news” on Google and eventually saw reports that Metro was investigating a fatal stabbing.

He said he didn’t tell his mother or friends what happened because “I knew my life would be over.”

Of Guintu, the teen asked detectives: “Was he a father?”

“Yes,” one replied, and Goin burst into tears.

Later in the interview, Goin asked how many kids Guintu had. “I’m not 100 percent positive, but at least two,” an officer said, and Goin began crying again.

He is scheduled to appear in District Court on Oct. 8.

A GoFundMe page for Guintu’s family had raised $10,265 as of Thursday afternoon.

Contact Alexis Ford at aford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0335. Follow @alexisdford on Twitter.

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