A 43-year-old man is accused of fatally shooting a man, dismembering his body and leaving it to be found weeks later in an abandoned drum in the southeast Las Vegas Valley.
Ryan Bentley was indicted Jan. 6 on charges of murder with a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit murder. Investigators have accused Bentley of killing and dismembering 39-year-old Rene Olmos Enriquez Jr. in October, about three weeks before his body was found in the abandoned drum on the side of Palm Street and Quail Avenue, near Russell Road and U.S. Highway 95, according to transcripts of a grand jury hearing filed Thursday.
Bentley’s defense attorney did not respond to request for comment on Monday.
Police arrested Bentley hours after finding the remains on Nov. 29, more than three weeks after Enriquez’s family reported him missing, the Metropolitan Police Department has said. Police also arrested 30-year-old Angelica Hudson on Dec. 7, although prosecutors dropped all of the charges against her less than a month later, court records show.
Hudson’s defense attorney, Benjamin Scroggins, said Monday that the state’s evidence against Hudson was based on hearsay statements made by Bentley.
“There was a lack of physical evidence, and a lack of any direct evidence about Ms. Hudson being involved,” Scroggins said.
Details of arrest
On the evening of Oct. 27, Enriquez and his girlfriend, Makayla Eyerly, visited Bentley’s home on the 900 block of Greystone Drive, near Washington Avenue and Jones Boulevard, Eyerly testified to a grand jury in January. Eyerly said she parked her boyfriend’s car in the alley behind Bentley’s home, and stayed in the car while Enriquez went inside.
Eyerly testified that she fell asleep for eight hours while she was in the car. At 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 28, Eyerly was awakened by police officers knocking on the car window.
As Eyelry was speaking with officers, five gunshots went off nearby, she testified. Police could not immediately locate the source of the shots.
Police later found Bentley walking down the road carrying a laptop and narcotics, the report said. He was arrested and taken to the Clark County Detention Center on suspicion of drug charges, court records show.
While at the detention center, Bentley made a phone call where he repeatedly told a woman “they don’t know,” a detective testified to the grand jury.
He also asked the woman, “has Angelica called you?” according to the transcripts.
Bentley was released from jail later that day, the arrest report stated. Police accessed Bentley’s Facebook messages through a search warrant, and alleged that he messaged multiple people about the killing after he was released from jail, court records show.
Bentley referenced Hudson in one message, the detective testified, writing that “the s—- me and her had to do compared with cartel videos,” according to the transcripts.
The detective also referenced Facebook messages between Bentley and Hudson on Nov. 4, in which she asked him why the home’s garage door was open.
“Ryan Bentley responded ‘to get a drum out,’” the detective testified.
In other Facebook messages, Bentley wrote that he needed a drum and “hot water to activate the lye,” according to the transcripts.
Police also spoke with one of Bentley’s friends, who said Bentley had confided in her about the killing, according to the arrest report. The woman told police that Bentley claimed he lured Enriquez to his home with the promise of a “care package” of narcotics. Once Enriquez arrived at the house, “Angelica” distracted him while two other men arrived to give Enriquez an ultimatum, Bentley’s friend told the police.
Bentley and the other men told Enriquez that they would either kill him because he was “cooperating with the police and was a ‘snitch,’ or Enriquez could intentionally overdose on fentanyl,” Bentley’s friend said. Less than two weeks before investigators believe Enriquez was killed, police had conducted a search warrant at his home and recovered 115 grams of methamphetamine, about 69 grams of heroin and about 50 grams of fentanyl, the report said.
According to the arrest report, Bentley’s friend claimed Enriquez took the drugs and passed out, and the other men left Bentley with Enriquez, thinking he was dead.
The friend said Bentley claimed he shot Enriquez when he woke up and tried to run from the garage, according to the arrest report. After Bentley was released from jail on the drug charges the next day, he returned home and dismembered Enriquez’s body and placed it in a 55-gallon drum, his friend told police.
Investigators who reviewed Bentley and Hudson’s phone records found that the day after he was released from jail, Bentley texted Hudson about a business that sold large barrels, according to the arrest report. Phone records also placed Bentley, Enriquez and Hudson at the home during the time that Enriquez was killed, the report said.
In court records arguing for Hudson’s bail to be reduced, her defense attorney wrote that there was no admissible evidence that Hudson was “guilty of the crime of murder.”
“A careful reading of this discovery quickly reveals that the only evidence that Ms. Hudson committed murder or assisted in the commission of murder is speculative inferences based upon hearsay statements made to a third-party by Ms. Hudson’s alleged co-conspirator,” Scroggins wrote in the document filed Dec. 15.
When attorneys met in court for a bail hearing on Dec. 27, Chief Deputy District Attorney Pamela Weckerly dismissed the case against Hudson, Scroggins said. Weckerly did not reply to request for comment on Monday.
In order to bring charges against Hudson in the future, prosecutors would need to file a notice that they intend to seek an indictment through a grand jury.