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Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty for Man Accused of Murder on RTC Bus

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, April 4, 2023 9:35 pm

Las Vegas – Prosecutors have announced their intention to seek the death penalty for Aaron Cole, a 59-year-old man who has been charged with murder in the death of Dominique Lucas, 30, on an RTC bus. The incident occurred on Sunday, Feb. 26, when Cole allegedly stabbed Lucas more than 30 times during an argument on the bus, according to court documents.

In court documents filed on Monday, prosecutors revealed that there was no apparent motive for the attack and no prior connection between Cole and Lucas, other than the verbal altercation that took place on the bus. Video evidence obtained from the bus by 8 News Now Investigators shows the harrowing moments of the attack. The bus stopped at 4:54 p.m., and the driver exited shortly before 4:55 p.m. Lucas crawled out of the bus and onto the sidewalk, but no one came to his aid until a passerby applied a towel to his chest at 4:57 p.m. Metro police officers arrived at the scene at 4:58 p.m., but unfortunately, Lucas died shortly after the attack.

The video also shows Cole continuing to stab Lucas even as the bus’s front door briefly opens and then closes, and the bus driver activates a panic button and talks to a dispatcher. Lucas stumbles around the front area of the bus for about 2 minutes before Cole gets up and stabs him several more times. The bus, which was on an alternate route due to a marathon that day, eventually stops near the intersection of Paradise and Desert Inn roads.

A spokesperson for Keolis, the company that operates the bus for RTC, stated that the bus driver did not open the doors due to the risk of the victim or passengers running into traffic and because the bus would not be able to move if the doors were opened. Further investigations revealed that at the time of the murder, Cole was on parole for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and had a history of previous arrests, including a charge of second-degree murder in 1994 that was later reduced to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

In fact, just 10 days before the bus murder, Cole was arrested by Metro police on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and carrying concealed weapons for allegedly threatening a person on a bus with a knife, as per records. However, Cole’s pre-trial risk assessment, which is used by courts to determine bail, deemed him “low risk” for the Feb. 16 arrest, according to documents obtained by 8 News Now Investigators. Cole currently remains in custody at the Clark County Detention Center as a judge has denied him bail.

While Nevada has the death penalty, no one has been put to death in the state since 2006. Nonetheless, prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Cole if he is convicted of murder in the brutal attack that occurred on the RTC bus, which has left the community shocked and saddened. The case continues to unfold as further investigations and legal proceedings take place.  Passenger safety on public transportation remains a priority for the company operating the RTC bus, and measures are being taken to ensure the safety of passengers in the wake of this tragic incident.  Citizens are urged to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behavior or potential threats to law enforcement authorities.  Updates on the case will be provided as they become available.

Credits: 8 News Now

Copyright 2022 702 Times, NV Globe. All rights reserved.

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