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Judge: Man wont get to cover neo- Nazi tattoos during murder trial
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LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Las Vegas man who was allowed to use makeup to cover his neo-Nazi tattoos during his robbery trial and conviction in in August will not get to hide them during his upcoming murder trial punishable by the death penalty, a judge has ruled.
Clark County District Court Judge Michelle Leavitt last week denied a defense lawyer’s request to order makeup for Bayzle Dylan Morgan, saying she believes fair and impartial jurors can be found who will disregard Morgan’s tattoos even if they don’t like them, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported .
Morgan has a swastika within a clover permanently etched under his left eye, the words “Most Wanted” on his forehead, “Baby Nazi” on his neck and white supremacist tattoos instead of eyebrows.
He gained media attention when a different judge ordered the tattoos covered with makeup during a trial at which Morgan was found guilty of threatening a man and stealing his motorcycle.
Morgan is charged in the murder case with breaking Jean Main’s home in northwest Las Vegas, hitting the 75-year-old woman with a pistol so hard that the trigger guard broke into pieces and shooting her in the back of the head. Main was found dead in a first-floor bathroom.
The judge has postponed Morgan’s trial until at least next month.
Morgan, 25, is in prison awaiting sentencing in the case involving the motorcycle. That conviction can be cited to a jury that would consider the death penalty if Morgan is convicted of killing Main.
Defense attorney Dayvid Figler said Morgan got the tattoos in prison after he was sentenced in 2010, at age 18, to up to four years for possession of a stolen vehicle.
Jurors are by law supposed to consider only the facts of a case, not a defendant’s appearance.
The jurors who decided Morgan’s guilt in the robbery trial without seeing his tattoos told the Review-Journal that they did not feel deceived that his tatoos were covered up.
Prosecutors say Main’s slaying happened days after the robbery, and Chief Deputy District Attorney Giancarlo Pesci said none of the evidence in the murder case relates to Morgan’s tattoos.
A 49-year-old getaway driver, Keith Smith, was sentenced this month to four to 10 years in prison on burglary charges.
Prosecutors said left when he heard gunshots but returned and saw Morgan with a suitcase of items taken from the Main’s house.