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Man Charged With Trying to Kill Mannequin in Homeless Murder Sting

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A hunt for the killer of two sleeping homeless men in Las Vegas led to an unusual attempted murder charge Tuesday and a legal debate about criminal intent, when a man was accused of trying to kill a mannequin used as a decoy near the downtown site where the men had died of head injuries.

The charge was lodged against 30-year-old Shane Allen Schindler at a hearing in which a justice of the peace ordered him to undergo a mental competency evaluation.

Clark County Public Defender Phil Kohn derided the charge of attempted murder as “a legal impossibility,” saying someone can’t kill an inanimate object.

But Nevada appellate law appears to support the charge. The state Supreme Court in 1976 rejected an argument asserting that “since it is legally impossible to commit the crime, it must also be legally impossible to attempt the crime.”

“We decline to concern ourselves with the niceties of distinction between physical and legal impossibility,” the court said at the time. It issued a similar ruling in 1989.

Laws in most states take into account what a defendant is thinking at the time of a crime, said Deborah Denno, a Fordham University law professor who authored a recent article about defendants and criminal intent.

“You can’t murder a mannequin,” Denno agreed. “But if the facts were as he believed them to be, he would have been bashing the head of a human being.”

In court, Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo told the judge that Schindler was “a severe danger to the community” and authorities think he may have been responsible for the two homeless homicides, although he hasn’t been charged in either case.

Schindler told police following his arrest that he knew it was a mannequin he was attacking.

But DiGiacomo said Schindler could not have known that he wasn’t attacking a human when he wielded a 4-pound ball-peen hammer to repeatedly strike the blanket-covered head of a dummy on Feb. 22 in a vacant downtown lot.

Police said Schindler was seen on surveillance video creeping up on the mannequin, pulling a hood over his head, taking the hammer from a plastic bag, and using a two-handed grip to pummel the decoy.

His court-appointed public defender, Ashley Sisolak, declined to comment about the case. She said Schindler intends to plead not guilty.

Bail was kept at $50,000 — the initial amount set after Schindler was charged last week with felony carrying a concealed weapon, the hammer.

Officials said the competency exam will give investigators several weeks to trace Schindler’s activities in Bay City, Michigan, where he lived before moving to Las Vegas last year.

Police told the media last month they believed the two homeless killings were connected.

Daniel M. Aldape, 46, was found dead Jan. 4. The body of David H. Dunn, 60, was discovered Feb. 3. Neither had been robbed. Both died of head injuries, the coroner said.

Homeless people were warned about the crimes, and Capt. Andrew Walsh, the downtown district patrol commander, came up with the plan to place the decoy.

“We had a sense of urgency,” Walsh said. “We didn’t want these cases to fall by the wayside because they were homeless. We had to think of something that’s not traditional.”

 

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Comments

One Comment

  1. To prove him guilty cops ought to use not a decoy but a real homeless.

      1. Really? Wow… Who hurt you?

  2. John Oakman says:

    Looks like a goot OBOLABOT.

  3. I’m guessing this Schindler had a different kind of list.

  4. Great. Enter now the era of “Mannequin Rights”. The new and improved liberal political cause celebre. But, wait! Let’s go a step further and champion “Transgender Mannequin Rights”.

    1. Shoot a robo-deer (animated fake deer) out of season or at night and you will be fined, lose your vehicle and firearm and maybe more. The attempt is what is illegal.

  5. why can’t these guys take out democrat politicians instead?

    1. Some of these comments really make you wonder if Humanity is still a thing.

  6. libserum says:

    If he “knew it was a mannequin,” why sneak up?

  7. Chicky Dee says:

    A local liberal would have worked as well as that mannequin and saved the mannequins life.

  8. Alan Whitney says:

    This is complete BS!

    Just another simulated crime, where no real crime existed. Well, he DID destroy the dummy…)

    Like imaginary sex crimes that have an adult POSING a minor, these tactics are an assault on our freedom.

    And in case you are an idiot; I am not defending the creeps that are arrested by these tactics, I am criticizing the TACTIC.

    1. Then what “tactic” do you recommend cops use to arrest pedophiles? Get real children to meet the perv, then arrest him in the act?

  9. “He told police following his arrest early Feb. 22 that he knew it was a mannequin he was attacking.”

    LOL. I can just see his lawyer telling a jury that one.

    1. How did he know it was a mannequin and not a homeless person? Easy, no urine stench.

  10. If he knew it was a mannequin, why did he bother creeping up on it?

  11. Geri Robel says:

    What color was the mannequin? Perhaps they can add a racial hate crime to against him also.

  12. I think this ruse by the LVPD is brilliant, and that they’ve probably caught their homeless killer.

    He brought the hammer … was that the weapon used in the previous two murders?

  13. His intent was obviously to kill someone, but the DA must produce evidence tying him to the previous murders, not just the mannequin attack.

  14. Tom Menino says:

    If you can bust someone for trying to have sex with a “14 yr old girl” you meet online who tuns out to be a 45 yr old male cop, then you can be busted for murdering a “homeless person” who turns out to be a decoration from a Macy’s window. The guys’s clearly a nutjob. Execute him.

  15. Pete Dosado says:

    Two murders of homeless men and a possible third which was a mannequin decoy! Another Schindler’s list?

  16. Mark David says:

    If the guy was a terrorist, and he enlisted the help of an undercover FBI agent, acting as a bad guy, to buy a bomb to blow up a stadium full of people, would he not be charged with terrorism?

    The fake bomb is delivered, the guy places it inside the stadium. Then, when the stadium is full, he presses the detonator. Is that not attempted murder???

  17. “Anti-racists” say there’s a RACE problem. They say it’ll be solved when non-Whites pour into ALL & ONLY White nations and “assimilate” to get a brown mixture.

    They say only White nations have this RACE problem; they say non-White nations are fine.

    If I object to my own genocide these “anti-racists” say I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

    They say they’re anti-racist. What they are is anti-White.

    Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-White.

  18. Paul Bristol says:

    This is like when the undercover narc sells you a bag of oregano and busts you for attempting to buy weed. You say, “I just bought a bag of oregano. What’s illegal about that?” But people are in jail for that and a lot less.

  19. John Smith says:

    1st – NO information if the 2 homeless guys were killed with a ball-peen hammer.
    2nd – Nevada is a demented democRAT state. The charges will never stick. He will walk away.

  20. Wynn Hott says:

    Game wardens routinely catch and prosecute poachers for shooting decoy deer. Same concept.

  21. Guessing he didn’t vote for Trump…

  22. Roy Barnes says:

    Are you sure that “mannequin” wasn’t Mika on Morning Schmo?

  23. Stu Pedasso says:

    So how about the forensics on the hammer, the bag it was in, or the clothing worn by the suspect to see if there were traces of DNA from the REAL dead guys? Footprints from the crime scene matched to the suspects shoes? Hairs, fibers, sweat DNA from the suspect on the REAL dead guys? If the suspect had a cell phone, did it leave a trail on cell towers near the REAL dead guys during the dates/times that those murders were committed?

  24. When intent can convict, then it matters, when intent will acquit, then it doesn’t matter. Government slime always pull this scam for money and power. We all know it, and so do the government career criminals.

  25. Vox Veritas says:

    How many kin did he try to kill?

  26. Some would say that dummie was on Schindler’s list………

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