Bail set for suspect accused in fatal sucker-punch attack
LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) —
The man accused in the punching death of a tourist faced a judge today for the second time this week.
On Friday, a judge set bail for 27-year-old James Beach at $350,000.
Beach is charged with murder, accused in the April 30 single-punch death of Luis Campos. Police say the father of five was standing outside the Vanguard nightclub in downtown Las Vegas moments before Beach came walking out.
Defense attorney Greg Knapp began today's hearing, asking the judge to set bail for his client at $50,000. In his argument, Knapp says he's seen video from the night of the alleged crime, adding that he can see Campos saying something to his client before he is punched.
According to his arrest report, Beach told police that following an argument with Campos outside the club, he hit the man once on the left side of his face. Campos was reportedly knocked unconscious. He was taken to UMC Trauma and four days later was pronounced dead. Campos was visiting Las Vegas from the Los Angeles area for his brother's bachelor party.
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Prosecutor Marc DiGiacomo asked the judge to set Beach's bail at $1 million while citing his criminal past.
In 2008, Beach pleaded guilty to charges of attempted murder and battery with a deadly weapon resulting in substantial bodily harm. He served five years in prison on the felony conviction and was released in 2014.
DiGiacomo added that he has also seen video of the punch, saying Campos was violently attacked before his death.
"In this particular occasion, there is a victim, standing in line, who was a customer to our community who as far as you can see from the video he is doing nothing wrong," DiGiacomo said. "His hands are in his pockets when Mr. Beach walks up to him and says something. And when the guy leans in he just drove the punch, he drops to the ground, and he dies."
Speaking to Beach's defense attorney, the judge said the argument that the victim verbally provoked the defendant before the punch does not warrant a physical response.
"This doesn't come to the sense of a self-defense argument. These are merely words, and those words never hurt anybody, except when someone views it in a different way and starts striking another person,” said Joseph S. Sciscento. “That's a concern of the court."
If Beach makes bail, he will then be placed on house arrest. He will be back in court for his preliminary hearing May 24.