30-year-old accused of killing boyfriend Friday

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A judge set bail Thursday at $750,000 for the woman accused of running over and killing her boyfriend while she was high on fentanyl after finding another woman’s tampons in the trash.

The 8 News Now Investigators first reported 30-year-old Julie Bush’s arrest for open murder. Bush was originally charged with DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm, domestic battery, attempted murder and drug possession after police arrested her on Friday, May 24.

In court Thursday, prosecutors said Bush will likely face charges of both open murder and DUI resulting in death. On Friday, a person called police alleging Bush intentionally ran over her boyfriend, Richard Penardo Jr., 51, with a car near Oakey Boulevard and Eastern Avenue in the east valley, documents said. After the incident, the witness reportedly saw Bush “leaning over [the man] crying hysterically.” Penardo later died from his injuries.

Prosecutors said a doorbell camera captured the entire incident, which they said shows Bush driving directly into Penardo. Prosecutors asked Las Vegas Justice Court Judge Noreen Demonte to set bail at $500,000.

Bush’s public defender said there are several defenses to present in her client’s case. The public defender asks the judge to set bail at $15,000. Saying in part that the “facts in this case are incredibly terrifying,”

Demonte set bail at $750,000, noting it is unlikely Bush can afford such an amount. Should she post bond, Bush will be required to be on electronic monitoring. She would also be required to stay away from the victim’s family. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for June 27.

Bush’s public defender noted Penardo’s violent history. Penardo served prison time on charges of forgery, accessory to felony, conspiracy to commit murder and insurance fraud, records said. In his most recent case, a judge sentenced Penardo to 3-10 years in prison for unemployed insurance fraud. The claims were filed while Penardo and his codefendants were incarcerated, officials said at the time of his sentencing.

Before that, Penardo took an Alford plea, meaning he did not admit guilt but agreed prosecutors had enough evidence to convince a jury to convict him, for his role in the death of Maria Marino in 2008. Marino died from ligature strangulation in 2008. Penardo then helped two women, including his then-wife, depose Marino’s body on Mt. Charleston, documents said. Judge Carolyn Ellsworth sentenced him to 2-5 years in prison.

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