LAS VEGAS >> Longtime Las Vegas entertainer Wayne Newton and his wife were due to tell a jury today about encountering two burglars fleeing their home a year ago, including one who attacked their dogs with a crowbar before escaping over a wall.
“Panic. Sheer panic,” prosecutor Jory Scarborough characterized the scene as he told jurors during opening statements that Weslie Hosea Martin, 22, was one of the burglars. The second burglar has not been identified or apprehended, authorities said.
Martin also was responsible for a break-in two weeks earlier at the Newton home and an attempted burglary at a neighboring property that same night, Scarborough told the jury during opening statements. The prosecutor displayed a clear image of Martin’s face captured on the neighbor’s doorbell security camera.
Martin’s public defense lawyer, Will Ewing, conceded that Martin was captured on the video at the neighboring home weeks before the Newton burglary, but told the jury that only a vague video image of someone with a similar body shape and size to Martin was captured the night the Newtons home was broken into in June 2018.
Newton, his wife Kathleen McCrone Newton, and their teenage daughter came home to find two men inside. The burglars fled with one striking the Newtons’ two large Rhodesian ridgeback dogs, named Ginger and Diva, with a crowbar before escaping. The Newtons were not injured and the dogs were treated by a veterinarian and survived.
The fleeing burglars dropped items including coins, a watch and a shoe while making off with what Scarborough characterized as “unique and high-priced” Newton valuables.
Martin was arrested last July, after an inventory of items that a coin and jewelry business owner posted online matched items from the first burglary at the Newton home.
Charges against Martin include home invasion, theft of a gun, burglary, robbery with a weapon and animal cruelty that, combined, could get him decades in prison. Martin has pleaded not guilty to 11 felonies.
Martin was convicted of two unrelated previous burglary-related felonies in 2015 and is currently in state prison serving a sentence of up to six years for violating probation and being a felon in possession of a gun.
Newton, 77, and his family moved to their current home in 2013 following the bankruptcy sale of their nearby 40-acre estate, Casa de Shenandoah. He is marking his 60th year as a performer and icon regularly referred to as “Mr. Las Vegas.”
Newton’s best-known songs include his signature “Danke Schoen,” his 1965 version of “Red Roses for a Blue Lady,” and “Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast,” which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard charts in 1972.