Note: 8 News Now has chosen to redact the names of several witnesses, including a juvenile.
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A teenager who received video from a crime spree that left a bicyclist dead testified to a grand jury that he was threatened by a suspect’s sister and had to withdraw from high school because he had interactions that caused him to become fearful, documents said.
A grand jury indicted Jesus Ayala, 18; and Jzamir Keys, 16 on the following charges, which carry enhancements because the victims were over the age of 60: murder with use of a deadly weapon, attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon, battery with use of a deadly weapon resulting in substantial bodily harm, and two counts of duty to stop at the scene of a crash involving death or personal injury.
Additional charges without the enhancement include battery with use of a deadly weapon, residential burglary, three counts of grand larceny auto and three counts of possession of a stolen vehicle. All of the charges are felonies.
Ayala was also charged with gross misdemeanor possession of burglary tools.
Grand jury transcripts obtained by the 8 News Now Investigators reveal testimony from witnesses.
A ninth-grade student who attended Shadow Ridge High School testified that Keys sent him a video on Instagram from the alleged crime spree on Aug. 14, the day it occurred.
“I was shocked,” the teenager said. He also testified that he did not show the video to his parents or police, but officers showed up at his home and found the video by searching his cell phone.
Clark County Chief Deputy District Attorney John Giordani asked the teen if he had received any types of threats since the inception of the case. The teen said that the sister of Keys came up to him in school and warned, “It’s going to be bad for you.”
Las Vegas Metro police initially believed the teen was a suspect, according to the grand jury transcripts.
Video, which went viral, showed a driver intentionally hitting cyclist Andy Probst, 64, while the passenger recorded cell phone video. Probst, a retired police chief from California, was later pronounced dead. Metro police identified Ayala as the driver and Keys as the passenger.
Earlier that morning, police said the teens hit a 72-year-old cyclist who survived. Keys was the driver and Ayala was the passenger as he recorded video, according to detectives. The 8 News Now Investigators first reported that police found video where one teen is heard saying, “bump him” three times.
A hit-and-run involving a car on the road moments before Probst was hit was also on video.
The 72-year-old bicyclist who survived also testified.
“I noticed headlights in the rearview mirror, and as he came closer he came over into the bike lane and kept drifting farther and farther over so I moved over as far as I could up against the curb and he hit me,” the bicyclist said.
He said that he did not know if he fell unconscious.
“First thing I didn’t know they were going to hit me. I didn’t know if they were going to ask for directions or what,” he testified. “They started blowing the horn and then they hit me. And it was louder and I thought, I was just kind of surprised that I got hit and then I remember rolling.”
He also said that he had road rash and an injured left knee from the crash.
“There’s pain like the bone is rubbing or I don’t know what’s wrong with it,” he said.
He also testified that he began his ride around 5 a.m. and was wearing a helmet and an orange shirt so that drivers could see him.
Several witnesses testified about finding Probst on the ground after he was hit.
One woman said that his helmet was cracked in half.
A driver testified that he was the victim of a hit-and-run while driving his vehicle.
“That black car came around the corner off of Tenaya and almost ran into me, sideswiped me there,” he said.
Shortly after, he saw Probst.
“I saw the man laying in the road and it was a pretty gory scene there,” he testified. “And I asked, it was a female, I said was it a black car and she said yes, it was a black car that did this.”
All three of the vehicles Ayala and Keys are accused of stealing are Hyundai models.
Las Vegas Metro police Officer Michael Johnson testified about Ayala’s arrest. After Probst and the 72-year-old cyclist were hit, Johnson said that he was given a brief description of two males involved in at least one of the crashes, one who was wearing a blue ski mask and the other who was wearing a red ski mask. A call was broadcast involving a stolen vehicle that crashed into a tattoo shop off of Craig Road and Rancho Drive, he said.
“I hit my lights and sirens they start running from me,” Johnson testified. Ayala was taken into custody. The second suspect had gotten away, he said.
Johnson testified that Ayala told him that “he would be out in 30 days.” Johnson said he responded that “He’ll probably be moved from juvenile to an adult facility within 30 days.”
Ayala responded, “It’s just a hit-and-run, it’s just a slap on the wrist,” according to Johnson.
The teens are also accused of breaking into a home to steal spray paint cans.
A neighbor testified that as she was taking her daughter to school, she saw the teens commit the burglary, called 911, and tried to follow the teens but lost them.
The teens stole a 2019 Hyundai Elantra, a 2017 Hyundai Sonata, and a 2016 Hyundai Elantra, according to the indictment. Las Vegas Metro Fatal Detail Detective Joshua Trail testified that he found a pair of needle-nose pliers and a screwdriver in one of the stolen vehicles.
Las Vegas Metro homicide Det. Ronnel Sioson testified that on Aug. 29, his team was notified by the fatal detail team, which investigates fatal and near-fatal crashes, that a case that they were handling was a homicide.
“They were notified by a school resource officer who provided video for them,” Sioson said.
Medical examiner Stephanie Yago testified that she had determined that Probst died from blunt force trauma and ruled his death as an accident. However, after a forensic investigator supervisor showed her video footage which showed the circumstances surrounding Probst’s death, she changed the manner to homicide.
Keys was represented by criminal defense attorney Dan Hill who said the family of Keys hired him. Ayala was represented by public defender David Westbrook.
If convicted, the maximum penalty the teens could receive would be life in prison with the possibility of parole. By law, the death penalty cannot be pursued against a defendant unless they are 18 or older at the time of the crime. Life without parole is also taken off the table for defendants under the age of 18.
The teens were expected back in court on Oct. 24.