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Defendant describes Vegas dancer dying in his arms

By Ken Ritter

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 06:55 p.m. HST, May 15, 2014

LAS VEGAS » A former Las Vegas Strip dancer standing trial on a murder charge cried openly as he demonstrated for jurors on Thursday how his ex-girlfriend died in his arms, with her hair in his face as he spoke into her ear during a physical struggle at his house in December 2010.

"I want to stop her from getting to the purse," Jason Omar Griffith said in his chance to describe how he was defending himself from a violent and possessive Deborah Flores Narvaez. .

"I think she's reaching for the gun in her purse, but I have no way to know," Griffith testified. "I was telling her to stop. I pull her back toward me."

Griffith said no one took him seriously about Flores taunting, threatening, stalking, harassing and assaulting him in the months after they became intimate in early 2010.

Jurors heard 14 calls that Griffith made to 911 and 311 police lines in the months that followed. Griffith characterized the police response as, "A beautiful girl cannot be dangerous."

By November, Griffith said, Flores told him she was pregnant for the second time in six months. He felt hemmed in. Griffith said Flores wanted him to quit seeing another dancer he'd been dating and devote his full attention to her, an abortion and her recuperation. Medical examiners later found no evidence that Flores was pregnant at the time.

The night she died, Flores mentioned a gun, Griffith said. As the argument escalated, he grabbed her as she reached across him toward her cream-colored handbag.

Griffith showed the jury how Flores' head wedged in the crooks of his elbows as he fell backward to the floor of his bedroom-sized home recording studio.

"She says, 'I'm going to (expletive) kill you. I'm going to (expletive) kill you,'" Griffith said, describing how Flores — a dancer in the Luxor hotel-casino's racy "Fantasy" revue — kicked the heels of her high black boots against his bare shins and threw her head back against the bridge of his nose as he held her tightly.

"She's not stronger than me," Griffith said.

He said he pleaded with her to stop — that he didn't want to fight.

"I thought she was listening to me, because she wasn't moving anymore," he said. "She wasn't scratching me, or gasping for air."

Moments later, he realized she wasn't breathing at all.

Prosecutors will question Griffith on Friday about differences between what he told the jury and the denials he gave police three times in the weeks after Flores' disappearance. The case became a media sensation during the 2010 Christmas holidays.

Griffith acknowledged lying to police. He said he withheld details of the slaying from everyone — even Louis Colombo, the friend and housemate who helped him dispose of Flores' dismembered body in tubs of concrete.

Colombo, who received immunity from prosecution, testified earlier this week that he separated Flores and Griffith at the beginning of the fatal encounter, but left the house in Griffith's car to return his daughter and her brother to his ex-wife's home. When he returned, Flores was dead on the floor.

Colombo said Griffith sawed Flores' corpse apart to entomb it in two concrete blocks that police found in a vacant house in January 2011.

Griffith said Thursday they both did it.

"Whether I had the saw in my hand or not, I didn't stop him," the defendant said.

Defense attorneys plan to call Colombo back to the witness stand on Monday.

Griffith, 35, performed under the name "Blu" in the Cirque du Soleil show "Love," based on Beatles music. He has been in the Clark County Jail in Las Vegas since his arrest after the body was found. He faces life in state prison if he is convicted of murder.

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st1d wrote:
a lithe, agile, young male stripper. everyman's dream date, everyman in prison, that is. jason, you will do well there. just remember, they will be stronger than you.
on May 15,2014 | 09:25PM
joseph007 wrote:
Why is it black men are so prevalent in violent crimes? The black male is only 6 % of the population (less female blacks) and represent 38 % of the violent crimes committed (rape, murder, etc.)
on May 16,2014 | 08:07AM
anerac wrote:
It isn't a race thing, it's an enviorment thing. Most impoverished people are minorities. In poverty-stricken neighborhoods, crime is much higher. A white person could come from the ghetto and be as likely to commit a crime as a black person or any other minority. Educate yourself sometime, the world isn't that black and white.
on May 16,2014 | 04:20PM
Sandybeach wrote:
Sawing, dismembering the body of the victim and placing her remains in concrete blocks in enough for me. If he was not the shooter, then why not call the police and leave the corpse where it lay. Evidence would support his claim of innocence. This guy is going away. Jury would be hard pressed to ignore his attempt to conceal a crime as opposed to being a witness to what he claims is a suicide. This guy went from potential witness to murderer immediately in my mind. Enjoy your stay... give my regards to OJ. Another total misfit and loser.
on May 16,2014 | 06:20AM
lokela wrote:
Yup. If he thinks he can get away no way. No one cuts up a body unless he is guilty.
on May 16,2014 | 06:54AM
juscasting wrote:
For a micro second I thought he was Mario Van Peebles!
on May 16,2014 | 09:57AM
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