Man slain at Reno party was snowboarding star |

Man slain at Reno party was snowboarding star

RENO, Nev. (AP) ” Two suspects made initial appearances Thursday in Reno Justice Court on charges related to the shooting deaths of three people at a weekend Halloween party, including a world class snowboarder.

Samisoni Taukitoku and Saili Manu, both 19, were charged in connection with the deaths of snowboarder Charles Coogan Kelly, 21, of Truckee, Calif.; University of Nevada, Reno student Derek Kyle Jensen, 23, of Reno, and former UNR student Nathan Viljoen, 23, of Fallon.

Taukitoku and Manu remain in jail under $500,000 bail each pending a Nov. 14

Kelly planned to ride his board on the professional circuit this winter, his friends told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

“It’s senseless,” said Kelly’s friend Nathan Brouwer of Truckee, who owns a clothing company that used Kelly as a model. “It’s the most ridiculous thing I ever heard.

Coogan and the other two who were killed had nothing to do with the situation that was going on.”

Police said the shooting happened after a party crasher bumped into a guest while dancing and beat him severely. The three victims weren’t involved in that incident but were shot afterward.

Kris Walters of San Francisco, who went snowboarding with Kelly, said his partner would push the sport to the limit. A 70-foot drop, which his peers thought was impossible, was his best-known feat and was documented in “Emergence,” one of several snowboarding films that featured Kelly.

“On the mountain, he wasn’t afraid of anything,” Walters said. “But he was the life of the party and never into violence. He hated that stuff, couldn’t understand it.”


Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal,

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.

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