LAS VEGAS (AP) — The 22-year-old suspect in the brutal sex attacks and hammer slayings of a Las Vegas mother and her daughter said little during a first court appearance Tuesday in separates felony cases stemming from allegations he hit his pregnant teenage ex-girlfriend during arguments in February and March.
Bryan Devonte Clay Jr. provided one-word answers — yes, he understood the charges; no, he couldn’t hire a lawyer — as he stood surrounded by armed court marshals.
Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa appointed a deputy public defender, Ryan Bashor, set bail at $50,000 and scheduled a May 15 preliminary hearing. Clay was not asked to enter pleas to the charges.
Setting bail was a formality. Clay remained in custody without bail at the Clark County jail pending a Wednesday initial appearance before another Las Vegas judge on more serious charges that could get him the death penalty.
Outside court, Bashor declined comment about the domestic violence cases and said another appointed attorney will be representing Clay on charges including murder, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and sexual assault with a minor under 14 years of age with use of a deadly weapon.
Clay faces misdemeanor battery domestic violence and felony robbery charges on allegations that he grabbed, punched, shoved to the ground and kicked the 16-year-old girl on March 15 after she said she was breaking up with him. The girl told police she was four pregnant at the time, and that Clay took her purse.
Clay also is accused of felony child abuse and neglect for allegedly hitting the girl during a Valentine’s Day argument.
Clay was arrested Friday — first on a warrant in the February case and then on charges in the April 15 slayings of Ignacia Yadira Martinez and 10-year-old Karla Martinez. The mother and daughter were found dead in their beds at a home in the West Las Vegas neighborhood where police found husband and father Arturo Martinez critically injured by near-fatal hammer blows to the head.
A 9-year-old and his 4-year-old brother were spared during the bloody attack in the Martinez home.
He also is accused in that case of trying to rape a 50-year-old woman in a separate attack on a neighborhood street a few hours before the attack at the Martinez home.
The grisly crime scene came to light April 16, after the 9-year-old boy arrived at school four blocks away and told a trusted teacher that his mom and sister were dead at home.
Clay was linked to the slayings last Friday, after police obtained a warrant and a DNA sample that matched genetic material found on the bodies of the mother and daughter and a baseball cap found at the scene of the street attack on the 50-year-old woman. He was booked late Friday in the slayings and sex assaults.
Police say phone records suggest the home invasion attacks occurred after 2 a.m. April 15, when several calls were placed with a cellphone taken from the woman in the street attack. Clay denied to police that he made the calls.
Police also have a claw hammer believed to be the murder weapon, Clay’s bloody left thumbprint and a T-shirt and jacket apparently discarded after the attack at the Martinez home several blocks northwest of downtown Las Vegas.