LAS VEGAS - A man charged with shooting his ex-girlfriend to death in a downtown casino made his first court appearance Monday, the same day the victim was buried.
A Nov. 29 preliminary hearing was set for Larry D. Taylor, charged with chasing down and killing blackjack dealer Gloria Cohns inside the Golden Gate hotel-casino.
Taylor, gripping a copy of the criminal complaint, calmly answered questions from Justice of the Peace Melanie Tobiasson indicating he understood the allegations against him.
The documents included a statement from prosecutors that they are reserving the right to seek the death penalty for the 37-year-old defendant.
Funeral services were held Monday for Cohns, who was shot to death Wednesday after being chased through the casino. A two-year Las Vegas resident, she had three children.
Tobiasson set Taylor's hearing date despite the objections of Deputy Public Defender Bob Amundson, who wanted his office's homicide defense team to interview Taylor first. Taylor is being held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center under a suicide watch.
Taylor and Cohns met when they both worked for a local security firm, and they eventually lived together with her three children.
Las Vegas police said Taylor, who had moved to Reno, checked into the Golden Gate the day before the shooting. Hours later, he is alleged to have walked into the casino with a semiautomatic handgun and opened fire.
Cohns fled through the casino and into a women's restroom where witnesses said more shots were fired before Cohns ran back into the casino and collapsed.
Taylor was tackled by hotel security guards after tossing the pistol on a craps table where he sat after the shooting. Witnesses said that before his apprehension, he pointed the pistol at his own head but was unable to pull the trigger.