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2 plead not guilty in Vegas iPad killing case

By Ken Ritter

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 12:15 p.m. HST, Jun 13, 2013

LAS VEGAS >> Two men pleaded not guilty today in state court to felony charges that could get them life in prison in the death of a Las Vegas high school student who authorities say died beneath the wheels of a getaway vehicle when he refused to let go of his iPad.

Michael Samuel Solid, 21, and Jacob Robert "Jake" Dismont, 18, were represented by new attorneys as they entered their pleas in the May 16 death of 15-year-old Marcos Vicente Arenas.

Clark County District Court Judge Valerie Adair ordered Solid and Dismont returned in custody to the Clark County jail, pending trial scheduled for Aug. 4.

The two were indicted June 5 on conspiracy, robbery and murder with a deadly weapon charges in what police call a fatal example of grab-and-run computer thefts sometimes dubbed "Apple picking."

Solid is a high school dropout who police say had a criminal history of petty crimes.

Dismont, who told the judge he is a high school junior, was a standout high school baseball player.

Each has faced previous criminal charges in Las Vegas stemming from allegations involving iPhones, according to court records.

Dismont was charged May 24 with conspiracy, robbery and battery with a weapon in the March 23 theft of $300 from a man who said he was struck in the face and robbed of a case while trying to buy an iPhone from a man he met at a pawn shop. The case is pending in Las Vegas Justice Court.

Solid pleaded guilty May 3 to a reduced misdemeanor theft charge in a case alleging he stole an iPhone from a man during a street encounter. He was given a six-month suspended jail sentence and fined $1,000.

Police and prosecutors allege the two men ambushed the younger Arenas after spotting him carrying an iPad outside a convenience store not far from Bonanza High School.

Police say security video shows Solid walking past Arenas at the store and then fueling a white Ford Explorer with no license plate. Dismont is seen getting out of the SUV and following Arenas as he walks away, according to the police report. The video hasn't been made public.

Witnesses told police that Arenas struggled with Dismont and wouldn't let go of the iPad, which family members said he received for his birthday. Arenas was fatally injured when he was dragged beneath the wheels of the Explorer driven by Solid.

A tip led police to Solid two days after Arenas' death, authorities said, and Dismont was found later with the Explorer. Police said the vehicle had different tires, various stickers on the body and a license plate from another vehicle.

Scott Bindrup, a deputy special public defender representing Solid, declined comment outside court.

Dismont's attorney, Peter Christiansen, didn't immediately respond to a message.

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