Death penalty sought in Las Vegas shooting, crash

Associated Press
FILE - This 2012 file booking photo provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows Ammar Harris. Harris is due for arraignment in state court in a shooting and fiery crash that killed three people on the Las Vegas Strip and felony sex assault charges in a 2010 rape case. The self-described pimp could face the death penalty in the Feb. 21 carnage on the Strip, although prosecutors have not made a decision yet. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, File)
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FILE - This 2012 file booking photo provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows Ammar …

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for a self-described pimp accused of opening fire at a man he argued with on the Las Vegas Strip, sparking a fiery crash that killed three people in February.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said Thursday he agreed with a recommendation from a panel of prosecutors to seek the death penalty for Ammar Asim Faruq Harris.

"Based upon the facts of this case and Mr. Harris' background — his propensity for violence — we wanted to give the jury the option to have the death penalty," Wolfson said.

Harris, 27, was arrested in Los Angeles a week after the Feb. 21 shooting and crash. He is jailed in Las Vegas.

He is due for arraignment Monday in Clark County District Court on an indictment handed up April 26 charging him with murder and attempted murder.

The pre-dawn shooting and crash killed the driver of a Maserati sports car and two people in a taxi.

Police said Harris and the Maserati driver had exchanged angry words at a casino valet area before speeding with tires squealing up the neon-splashed Strip.

A passenger in the Maserati was wounded.

Harris also faces felony robbery and sex assault charges in a 2010 rape case that had been dismissed last year when the alleged victim refused to testify. The woman re-emerged after the Strip carnage and testified before the grand jury in Las Vegas in April.

Wolfson said he has tried to limit the number of death penalty cases his office seeks in Las Vegas.

He said prosecutors averaged about 20 death penalty cases a year when he became district attorney in 2012, but he sought capital punishment in just five cases last year.

"My philosophy is that the death penalty should be sought in only the worst of the worst kind of cases," he said.

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