Prosecutors to seek death penalty

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A judge has determined the man accused of killing a passenger on a Las Vegas bus is not competent to stand trial.

Aaron Cole, 60, is charged with murder in the death of Dominique Lucas, 30. Both men were riding an RTC bus on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023, when they began to argue. Cole then allegedly stabbed Lucas more than 30 times, prosecutors said.

Two doctors determined Cole was not competent, meaning he did not understand the charges against him and could not assist his attorneys in his defense, documents said, leading Judge Cristy Craig to order his transfer to a state treatment facility.

At the time of the murder, Cole was on parole on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, the 8 News Now Investigators first reported shortly after his arrest. In 1994, police arrested Cole on a charge of second-degree murder after he shot a man in a Salvation Army lobby, records said. The charge was reduced to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, records indicated.

On Feb. 16, 10 days before the bus murder, Metro police arrested Cole on a charge of assault with the use of a deadly weapon and two counts of carrying a concealed weapon, records showed. Cole was arrested for allegedly threatening a person on a bus with a knife, sources said.

Cole’s pre-trial risk assessment, a system courts use to determine bail, deemed him “low risk” for the Feb. 16 arrest, the 8 News Now Investigators reported last year. Cole remained at the Clark County Detention Center on Tuesday as a judge denied him bail. It can take weeks, if not months, for a defendant to be transferred to the state.

Prosecutors said last year that they intended to seek the death penalty should a jury convict Cole. A future court date was not scheduled as of Tuesday.

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