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Judge: Vegas shooting suspect faking mental illness

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    FILE - In this July 8, 2014 file photo, Joey Kadmiri arrives at his trial at Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas. A Nevada judge said Friday, Oct. 3, 2014, the 25-year-old defendant is faking mental illness to avoid retrial on charges he fired a gun while trying to steal costumes and props from "Thunder From Down Under" male revue cast members at a Las Vegas Strip resort on March 18. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, Jeff Scheid, File)
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LAS VEGAS >> A Nevada judge said Friday that a doctor determined a Las Vegas criminal defendant is faking mental illness to avoid a new trial on charges that he fired a gun backstage while trying to steal costumes and props from cast members of the “Thunder From Down Under” male revue.

Jailers said Joey Kamari refused to be brought to court, where Clark County District Court Judge Linda Marie Bell told his lawyers, Yi Lin Zheng and John Momot, that two doctors found Kadmiri competent for retrial on felony burglary, robbery, battery, drug and weapon charges.

“One said he’s pretending to be incompetent,” the judge said.

Bell set another competency hearing for Oct. 17 after Zheng sought time to obtain and review court-ordered psychological evaluations from 2010, 2011 and earlier this year. Each found Kadmiri competent in previous criminal cases.

Court records show the 25-year-old Kadmiri was convicted in September 2011 of misdemeanor escape stemming from a March 2010 attempt to run from police arresting him on unspecified felony charges.

He also is slated for trial next month after pleading not guilty to kidnapping, assault, coercion and robbery stemming from allegations that he beat a woman and confined her at gunpoint in a closet last November.

Zheng and Momot said they had not determined whether they will challenge the current competency finding in the “Thunder From Down Under” case.

Kadmiri pleaded not guilty following the March 18 incident at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. He acknowledged to Clark County District Court Judge Jerome Tao last month that he had been diagnosed and treated in the past for mental illness.

Authorities say a 55-year-old cast member of the Australian-themed men’s revue was slightly injured by debris from a wall after Kadmiri fired a .44 Magnum handgun near the man’s head.

Several heavily muscled male dancers subdued Kadmiri until police arrived. Kadmiri was left with a black eye and bruises.

Kadmiri’s first trial ended in mistrial in July due to juror misconduct. Jury members admitted to that they talked about the case before hearing all the evidence.

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