Man indicted in murder of Coogan Kelly, 2 others
RENO (AP) ” A 19-year-old man has been indicted by a Washoe County grand jury on charges of killing Charles Coogan Kelly and two others at a Halloween party in Reno following a dispute on a crowded dance floor.
The indictment handed up Wednesday charges Samisone Taukitoku of three counts of open murder and four counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
Up-and-coming professional snowboarder Kelly, 21, of Truckee; University of Nevada, Reno student Derek Kyle Jensen, 23, of Reno; and former UNR student Nathan Viljoen, 23, of Fallon, were shot and killed Oct. 28 at the party.
Another person charged in the case, Saili Manu, 19, is scheduled to be arraigned Jan 16 on two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
Police said before the shootings Taukitoku argued with a man who had bumped him in an area where people were dancing. Taukitoku and Manu, who both had pistols, allegedly beat the man unconscious and stole his wallet and belongings, police said.
The three shooting victims were not involved in the dance floor altercation, but were shot later. Viljoen was shot in the kitchen, Jensen was shot in the driveway and Kelly was found in the backyard, police said.
Saili Manu’s lawyer, Robert Bell, said his client intends to plead guilty to the charges for pointing a gun at two people.
“The main thing we want to show the court is that he was never charged with any murder-related crimes,” Bell told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “He didn’t fire a gun, shoot or kill anyone.”
Authorities have said Manu crashed the party with his juvenile cousin and Taukitoku. The cousin was arrested later on unrelated charges.
Bell said Manu and Taukitoku received text messages from other people at the gathering, telling them to come over.
He said when they arrived it was already crowded and fights were under way. Bell said the three had been at the party only briefly before the shootings occurred.
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Jaime Alessio took this video of a bobcat wandering around Kings Beach in broad daylight.