Fatal Vegas carjacking suspect appears in court - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Fatal Vegas carjacking suspect appears in court

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Montgomery, seen in a 2009 booking photo, was arrested once before for DUI in California. He appeared in a Las Vegas court room on Wednesday. (Source: KMPH/Madera County Sheriff's Office) Montgomery, seen in a 2009 booking photo, was arrested once before for DUI in California. He appeared in a Las Vegas court room on Wednesday. (Source: KMPH/Madera County Sheriff's Office)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The California man accused of taking a pick-up truck and causing a crash that resulted in the deaths of two near the Las Vegas Strip appeared for an initial court appearance on Wednesday.

James Montgomery, 29, was charged with murder, two counts of first-degree kidnapping, two counts of robbery, battery and grand larceny auto.

Police said the charges were in connection to a carjacking Sunday at the Flamingo hotel-casino, which resulted in the deaths of California Highway Patrol Officer Jesus Magdaleno and his brother-in-law Brandon Cruz.

In court on Wednesday, Montgomery's attorney requested more time to review police reports linked to the case.

A judge set a status check for Aug. 27 and a subsequent hearing for Sept. 4.

According to an arrest report, detectives identified Montgomery as the person behind the wheel of the pickup that crashed at the intersection of Flamingo Road and Valley View Boulevard at about 11 a.m. The arrest report stated two men in the bed of the pickup were ejected in the crash.

Authorities said Magdaleno died at the scene while Cruz was transported to University Medical Center. Cruz died a day after the wreck.

The arrest report said surveillance cameras captured Cruz and Magdaleno loading the pickup, which was running with the driver's door open, with Cruz in the bed of the truck. Family members told police, in the report, they were checking out of the hotel at the time.

At the same time, as stated in the arrest report, cameras captured Montgomery leaving another vehicle after an apparent argument with people inside the car.

Montgomery then is seen on surveillance cameras walking into the truck and starting to move the vehicle with Cruz in the back, according to the arrest report.

Cruz, in the report, screamed for help when the vehicle was driving off. Magdaleno followed on foot, screaming for the driver to stop and identifying himself as a CHP officer, the report states.

Magdaleno, in the report, was able to get in the bed of the truck when the driver stopped for traffic at Audrie Avenue and Flamingo. Citing witnesses, the report states the vehicle traveled westbound on Flamingo at a high-rate of speed, passing through three red lights without braking.

It wasn't until the intersection near the Rio hotel-casino that the truck stopped after being struck by a sport-utility vehicle turning left on to northbound Valley View, the arrest report said. The collision caused the truck to slide into a traffic pole, ejecting both Cruz and Magdaleno from the bed.

In an interview at the hospital, Montgomery, who was also being treated for injuries, told police, in the report, he did not remember what exactly happened except for the car crash. Montgomery, as stated in the report, remembered walking around the Flamingo property before the alleged incident but did not know why he was there.

Members of Magdaleno's family made the trip to Las Vegas from Fresno and also attended Montgomery's hearing.

Montgomery was booked in absentia into Clark County Detention Center. He had been treated at UMC up until Tuesday night when he was released to police custody.

Stay tuned to FOX5 for the latest on this developing story.

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