Las Vegas Man Convicted Of First Degree Murder In Connection With Drug Deal Gone Bad
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A federal jury convicted a Las Vegas man Tuesday of drug and firearm crimes that resulted in the death of a man during a drug deal in November 2013, announced U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada.
After a seven-day trial, Louis Matthews, 37, was found guilty of conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to distribute and using a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime resulting in death. United States District Judge Andrew P. Gordon presided over the trial and set a sentencing date for August 1, 2019.
The evidence at trial showed that Matthews and his co-defendant John Thomas, met in a North Las Vegas apartment in November 2013, to buy 20 pounds of marijuana from three suppliers: Angel Juarez, Julio Nunez, and Luciano Madrigal-Herrera. During the deal, Matthews and Thomas drew handguns and shot Madrigal-Herrera seven times in the chest, killing him, and robbing him of the marijuana. As Matthews and Thomas made their getaways, Nunez chased after them with a shotgun, shooting Thomas in the back shoulder, wounding him, and causing the two to drop the marijuana they stole. All four men fled the scene with no arrests.
The ensuing police investigation, however, led to their arrests and federal charges. Thomas, Nunez, and Juarez have all been sentenced to prison on charges related to the homicide. Matthews was the last of the four to be convicted.
Matthews has prior felony convictions for Possession of a Controlled Substance in 2001, Bribing or Intimidating Witness to Influence Testimony in 2004, Possession of a Controlled Substance in 2005, Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base in 2005 and Battery with Substantial Bodily Harm in 2015. Matthews had been released from federal custody less than a month prior to committing the murder on November 30, 2013. Matthews also had three prior arrests for murder and attempted murder with a deadly weapon along with an additional arrest for discharging a weapon.
Matthews faces a maximum term of life imprisonment.
The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and North Las Vegas Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Alexandra Michael and Steven Myhre.