Man held for murder in Vegas Strip has prison history

LAS VEGAS – A man arrested early Friday in the murder of one person and injuring two others during a domestic dispute in a hotel room on the Las Vegas Strip has a criminal history, including felony convictions dating back to 1987 and served several years in Nevada state prisons, records show.

Billy Deray Hemsley, 54, was jailed for murder and attempted murder in Thursday’s 8:30 p.m. shooting that killed a man and injured two women at The Mirage resort, Las Vegas police said.

A department statement said Hemsley was apprehended before dawn in a southeast Las Vegas neighborhood and was booked into the Clark County Detention Center to await a first court appearance scheduled for Saturday.

It was not immediately clear if Hemsley had an attorney who could speak for him. Attorney James Gallo is representing Hemsley in pending DUI cases in Henderson and Las Vegas courts, but said Friday he is not representing Hemsley on new charges.

The shooting caused a lockdown at the Mirage for more than two hours after tourists saw police rush into the iconic casino and hotel on Las Vegas Boulevard.

The injured women were taken to hospital in critical condition, police said. No further details were released about their injuries and they were not immediately identified.

The Clark County coroner did not immediately identify the slain man.

Capt. Dori Koren, chief of the police homicide division, told reporters at the scene that the shooter had an address in Las Vegas and the incident did not pose a broader threat to the public.

The police statement said the shooting resulted from an argument “with several family members” in an eighth-floor room.

Court and prison records show that Hemsley also used the surname Moore and spelled his first name multiple ways. He was released by the Nevada Department of Corrections in September 2019 after being convicted in February 2013 in Las Vegas of assault and battery charges.

He had been charged with stabbing his girlfriend and stealing her vehicle after they fought in their apartment over him allegedly using cocaine, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, citing a arrest report.

According to court records reviewed by The Associated Press, previous convictions were for drug possession, drunk driving and weapons.

Officials from MGM Resorts International, operator of the Mirage, have questioned the police about the incident.

The Polynesian-themed property, with a fire-spewing volcano and more than 3,000 rooms, opened in November 1989. It is credited with transforming Las Vegas from a gambling center into a luxury resort destination with international appeal.

MGM Resorts announced last December that it would sell The Mirage operations for nearly $1.1 billion to Hard Rock International, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The new operator plans to replace it with a huge guitar-shaped hotel. The sale is pending regulatory approval.

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