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Woman charged with murder in death of Vegas girl

Woman charged with murder in death of Vegas girl

January 3rd, 2013 in News

Brenda Stokes Wilson appearsed in Clark County Justice Court in Las Vegas. She is accused of slashing a Bellagio blackjack dealer and is suspected of kidnapping and slaying 10-year-old Jade Morris.

Photo by The Associated Press /News Tribune.

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A blackjack dealer was charged with kidnapping and murder Wednesday in the death of her ex-boyfriend's daughter, adding to existing felony charges she faces in a slashing attack hours later against a co-worker at a Las Vegas Strip casino.

Brenda Stokes Wilson, 50, picked up 10-year-old Jade Morris to go Christmas shopping last month, but instead took her to a vacant lot and killed her, according to police.

Prosecutor Robert Daskas told a judge that DNA tests found the child's blood on clothing Stokes Wilson wore that day and on the driver's door handle and steering wheel of the car she borrowed.

"She had blood on her hands," Daskas said.

Stokes Wilson's lawyer, Tony Liker, said his client intends to plead not guilty to the charges against her.

Prosecutors haven't disclosed a motive for the attacks.

Police and family members, however, think the actions were sparked by jealousy. They have said Stokes Wilson thought the child's father, Philip Morris, had recently begun dating Joyce Rhone, the woman slashed at the casino.

"It was just her imagination," said the girl's grandfather, Philip Tucker, who said he spoke with Rhone by telephone a day after the attack at a Bellagio casino blackjack table.

"There was nothing going on" between his son and Rhone, Tucker added.

Attempts to reach Rhone, 44, on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Stokes Wilson was a trusted family friend who dated Jade Morris' father for about four years, police have said.

Stokes Wilson picked up the girl about 5 p.m. Dec. 21, returned the car to its owner a little after 7 p.m. and was wrestled to the ground at the Bellagio about 9:30 p.m. with razor blades in each hand and three more razors in a bag, police said.

She told police she asked her doctor days earlier to admit her to a hospital because she felt like she wanted to hurt someone. She also told police she had stopped taking prescribed anti-anxiety medication.

Liker, Stokes Wilson's lawyer, declined to say Wednesday whether he might seek an insanity defense.

He said Stokes Wilson was a single mother of three who had a steady job as a blackjack dealer. Liker said Stokes Wilson had a clean previous criminal record, and he believes she's innocent.

"She doesn't meet the profile of someone who would kill a 10-year-old girl," the defense attorney said.

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Deborah Lippis set an evidence hearing for March 28 on murder, kidnapping, burglary, attempted murder, battery causing substantial bodily harm and mayhem charges - each with use of a deadly weapon - that could get Stokes Wilson life in prison or the death penalty.