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Will 2 Las Vegas teens accused of deadly crime spree face death penalty? 

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) —  Two teens accused of a deadly crime spree in Las Vegas appeared in court on Tuesday. Jesus Ayala, 18, and Jzamir Keys, 16, will remain in jail since bail was not discussed at their hearings.

Ayala was 17 years old at the time of the alleged crime spree.

Both teens are facing a murder charge in the adult criminal justice system. In Nevada, the case is moved from the juvenile system if the defendant is 16 or older.

State law also specifies that the death penalty cannot be pursued against a defendant unless they are 18 or older at the time of the crime. Life without parole is also taken off the table for defendants under the age of 18.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson told reporters on Tuesday that the death penalty likely could not be pursued against the teens.

“Probably not,” Wolfson said. “That’ll be something that I discuss with the Death Penalty Committee.”

Keys is represented by criminal defense attorney Dan Hill who said the family of Keys hired him.

Hill said he would like to “let the families mourn respectfully,” and declined to comment further.

Ayala is represented by public defender David Westbrook.

The case has gained international attention after video from the alleged crime spree on Aug.14 went viral.

The driver intentionally hit cyclist Andy Probst, 64, while the passenger recorded a cell phone video. Probst, a retired police chief from California, was later pronounced dead.

Metro Police identified Ayala as the driver and Keys as the passenger.

Earlier that morning, police said the teens hit a 72-year-old cyclist who survived. Keys was the driver and Ayala was the passenger as he recorded the video, according to detectives. The 8 News Now Investigators first reported that police found a video where one teen is heard saying “Bump him” three times.

A hit-and-run involving a car on the road moments before Probst was hit was also on video.

Ayala was initially charged with 17 counts. In a criminal complaint filed on Monday, prosecutors filed seven charges. NewsNation affiliate KLAS investigators asked Wolfson about the change in the number of charges filed.

“The expression I use is police arrest and prosecutors charge,” Wolfson responded. “We filed the most serious charges against both these defendants. But after my screening, the attorney reviewed some of the charges that defendant Ayala was booked on. We decided there was insufficient evidence at this point, but we can always add those charges.”

Keys faces three charges.

The teens had stolen at least three cars during the alleged crime spree, police said.

Wolfson said that prosecutors will argue to keep the teens behind bars.

The 8 News Now Investigators have learned that Ayala has a lengthy criminal history in the juvenile system, including a recent warrant for domestic battery by strangulation, according to police.

Ayala told an officer that he’d get a “slap on the wrist” and be “out in 30 days,” after he was taken into custody on the day of the alleged crime spree, according to an arrest report.

Police said that Ayala’s comments were captured on an officer’s body camera video.

Ayala is scheduled to be back in court on Oct. 10.

Keys is scheduled to be back in court on Nov. 8.


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