"He said the victim pulled a gun on him â?¦ and he cut the victim until (she) was unresponsive," Jones testified during Brown's preliminary hearing. He then pulled the body from his car, went home and cleaned up himself and the knife, Jones said.
Brown's story, though, didn't match officers' and friends' knowledge of Hooten. Jones said he spoke with several veteran officers who had dealt with Hooten in a criminal manner previously, and no one knew Hooten to carry weapons. Police also searched the area and Brown's car but did not find a gun, he said.
Brown's girlfriend, Susan Noble, gave a statement to police, saying Brown came home to his apartment covered in blood and said "I think I killed him," Jones said. Noble told officers that Brown removed his clothes and put them in plastic bags before cleaning the knife and taking a shower.
When officers knocked on his door concerning an unrelated complaint, Brown told Sgt. Shane Southwood that he had been home all night, Jones said. Noble told police that Brown had thought about escaping through a bathroom window when officers first knocked on his door, but she advised against it.
When officers later searched Brown's apartment, they found the knife hidden between the mattress and box springs of a bed and Hooten's wallet, which was identified by relatives. Brown told police he threw Hooten's hat in the dumpster after returning home.
"The only defense Mr. Brown had was a weapon was drawn on him," Jones said. "None of us had ever observed the victim with any weapon. Clearly to us, it looked like there wasn't much of a struggle."
Clark District Judge Earl-Ray Neal ruled there was probable cause for the charges and ordered the case to be sent to the grand jury.
Brown is being held on a $100,000 cash bond in the Clark County Detention Center.
Contact Fred Petke at firstname.lastname@example.org.