Updated May 23, 2022 - 6:36 pm
A man accused of running over and killing a teenage boy in a 2013 robbery over an iPad testified on Monday in his second murder trial.
Michael Solid, 30, first went to trial in August 2016 and was convicted of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and robbery for the death of Marcos Arenas. A retrial began Wednesday after the Nevada Supreme Court in 2018 reversed Solid’s conviction due to a structural error in the first jury selection process, court records show.
Marcos, a 15-year-old Las Vegas High School student, was walking near his northwest valley home on May 16, 2013, when he encountered Jacob Dismont, who took Marcos’ cherished iPad. Prosecutors have accused Solid, who was driving a white Ford Explorer, of acting as a lookout and getaway driver during the robbery.
Dismont wrestled the iPad away and jumped into the SUV. Marcos flung himself onto the vehicle and was dragged, run over and killed, prosecutors have said.
Ivan Arenas testified in the 2016 trial that he had taken out a payday loan to buy the iPad about a month before as his son’s birthday gift and reward for doing well in school.
In 2016, Dismont pleaded guilty to second-degree murder with a deadly weapon, robbery with a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery, court records show.
Solid testified for nearly four hours on Monday. He told jurors that he and Dismont were at a gas station that afternoon with Solid’s girlfriend and baby daughter. Solid said that while he put gas in the car, Dismont left the vehicle to panhandle away from the gas station.
When Solid pulled the car onto Charleston Boulevard to pick up Dismont, he didn’t realize Dismont was stealing the iPad, Solid said.
“I never planned nor conspired with Jacob to steal or rob from anybody that day,” Solid said.
Solid told Chief Deputy District Attorney Agnes Botelho that once Dismont ran into his car, he heard someone banging on his window. He said Dismont and his girlfriend were yelling at him to drive, so he “floored it” and sped away.
He claimed he didn’t realize the car had fatally injured Marcos while he drove away.
“So, yes — I panicked and I left, you would have did the same thing,” Solid told Botelho.
Solid grew heated at times during Botelho’s questioning, and at one point he accused the prosecutor of “fixing the evidence.” District Judge Carli Kierny then ordered the jury out of the courtroom to tell Solid that his demeanor was “inappropriate.”
“You guys aren’t supposed to be fighting each other,” the judge said. “You’re supposed to be answering questions so this jury can make a decision about your life, and this is how you want to behave?”
Solid also testified that days after the robbery, once he realized Marcos had been killed, he and his girlfriend received threats from Dismont. Solid said he lied in his interview with police when he initially claimed that he wasn’t the SUV driver because he was afraid of the other man.
“If I did tell the truth he was going to harm my family,” Solid said.
Marcos’ family, including his father, Ivan Arenas, filled up half the courtroom on Monday during Solid’s testimony. Ivan Arenas told the Review-Journal last week that his family was prepared to sit through the entire retrial and “relive this nightmare.”
Closing arguments in the trial are expected to begin Tuesday afternoon.
Contact Katelyn Newberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.