Murder suspect recaptured in New Jersey

LAS VEGAS - A man released from jail last week before he could be charged with killing a tourist in a Strip casino has been recaptured in New Jersey.

Chief Deputy District Attorney William Koot said Michael Adam Frimmel, 31, was arrested in Ventnor City, N.J., Thursday on a bench warrant after he was found hiding in the attic of a townhouse adjoining his mother's home.

Frimmel was also wanted in New Jersey for violation of parole and bail jumping.

Frimmel was released from the Clark County Detention Center Sept. 14 after prosecutors failed to file charges against him in a credit card case and before murder charges were filed in the Sept. 8 death of Heather Vitarelli, 29.

Frimmel and Stephen Mullen, 32, were formally charged with Vitarelli's death Sept. 15.

Police said Mullen fired the shots while security guards were trying to detain him as a suspect in several recent thefts inside Harrah's hotel-casino. Vitarelli, of Maui, Hawaii, was struck and killed by a stray bullet. She was a student at California State University-Hayward.

A security guard was also shot, but he recovered.

Frimmel is accused of being Mullen's accomplice.

The criminal complaint states that although Mullen actually shot Vitarelli, both he and Frimmel can be held liable for her death because it happened as a result of a premeditated plan and during the commission of another felony.

The criminal complaint charges each of them with 20 criminal counts ranging from murder to petty larceny. Koot said it is unclear if Frimmel will fight extradition or when he might be returned to Las Vegas.


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