June 7, 2016 - 10:58 am
Three men accused of storming into a southwest valley Lee’s Discount Liquor armed with handguns and killing a clerk pleaded not guilty in court Tuesday.
Prosecutors have about a month to decide whether to pursue the death penalty against Ray Charles “Ray Ray” Brown and brothers Lee “Murry” Sykes and Lee “Dominic” Sykes, but that decision could come down as early as next week.
Authorities have identified Brown as the man suspected of firing upwards of six shots that left 24-year-old cashier Matthew Christensen dead.
The 22-year-old defendant, who police said is a documented member of the 004 Hoodsman gang, faces several charges, including murder with a deadly weapon, along with Murry, 22, and Dominic, 20.
Authorities said the April 20 killing and robbery were captured by a surveillance camera.
In a span of about three minutes, three men robbed the store and ordered Christensen to open a safe, which he could not access, police have said.
Along with the murder charge, Dominic and Murry Sykes face three counts of robbery with a deadly weapon and one count each of first-degree kidnapping, burglary while in possession of a firearm, coercion with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery, and assault with a deadly weapon.
Brown faces the same charges and one count each of false imprisonment by body shield and child abuse, neglect or endangerment. Authorities said he shielded himself with a child as an armed SWAT team confronted him.
Surveillance video reportedly showed that Dominic Sykes, armed with a black semi-automatic handgun, was the first to enter the store at 8785 W. Warm Springs Road.
Police said Brown, also wielding a handgun, briefly stopped a female customer from leaving the store while he pointed the firearm at three clerks inside, and Murry Sykes followed his co-defendants inside.
After the customer escaped, authorities said, Brown forced Christensen to an office in the back of the shop, as Dominic Sykes grabbed cash from a register and liquor from the shelves and Murry Sykes dumped the liquor into a plastic bag.
Brown grabbed Christensen’s wallet and cellphone and fired a shot toward the victim, authorities said.
They said Dominic Sykes ran to the back office and pointed his gun at Christensen, and Brown then shot Christensen several times before the men ran from the store.
All three men are being held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center.
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