Authorities linked 23-year-old Shane Valentine to a shooting incident at a woman’s home after finding her son and his girlfriend dead less than a month later inside a southwest valley apartment.
But after announcing an indictment Wednesday in the earlier crime, prosecutors stopped short of identifying Valentine as a suspect in the killing of Sydney Elysse Land, 21, and Nehemiah “Neo” Kauffman, 20.
Valentine faces one count of discharging a firearm at or into an occupied structure and is being held on $150,000 bail.
Prosecutors said he crashed a car into the garage of a Centennial Hills home on Oct. 8, threw rocks through a window and fired a single round into the house.
On Oct. 27, Kauffman and Land were gunned down inside a residence at Union Apartments, 4450 S. Hualapai Way.
While investigating the double homicide, detectives found text messages between Kauffman and Valentine, who also faces several burglary charges, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo.
In the text message exchange, Valentine told Kauffman, “I’m coming over to your mother’s house,” the prosecutor said. Valentine was misled to believe Kauffman would be inside.
Valentine “has been looked at as a person of interest” in the killings, Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Larry Hadfield said Wednesday. No one has been charged. Police said at the time that two men might have been involved in the killings, but no possible motive was released.
Attorney Bill Terry, who represents Valentine, could not be reached for comment.
Valentine was arrested in California in November, while awaiting sentencing on a Las Vegas burglary charge to which he pleaded guilty in August. At the time of his arrest, he was driving the same Nissan that crashed into the garage on Oct. 8 and carrying the cellphone used in the exchange with Kauffman.
Investigators used Valentine’s DNA to tie him to other burglaries for which he has since been charged, but DiGiacomo declined to say whether similar evidence was found at the scene of the killings.
Kauffman played football at Arbor View High School and graduated from Centennial High School this year after transferring there for his senior year.
Land, a graduate of Centennial High School, had worked at the Palm restaurant at the Forum Shops at Caesars.
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