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Updated Jan 3, 2014 - 2:30 pm

Arizona couple face judge for Las Vegas shooting

LAS VEGAS — A judge on Friday scheduled a bail hearing on Monday for an
Arizona woman jailed on felony charges in a Christmas week shooting that left a
motorist badly wounded on the Las Vegas Strip.

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Janiece Marshall also appointed a public
defender to represent Brittanie Merritt-Burwell, of Glendale, and a lawyer for her boyfriend,
Joshua Youngblood, and set a Jan. 17 preliminary hearing of evidence in the Dec.
23 shooting.

Both suspects stood in shackles on Friday and said nothing in court. They were
not asked to enter pleas to the charges.

Merritt-Burwell, 21, was charged with attempted murder and battery with a
deadly weapon after a man was shot in the neck as he sat in a vehicle following
what police described as a traffic dispute.

Youngblood, 28, faced concealed weapon and accessory charges.

Merritt-Burwell acknowledged wielding a silver handgun and told police she was
defending herself, police said.

The wounded motorist wasn’t identified. Police said he remained in critical
condition at University Medical Center.

Merritt-Burwell and Youngblood were arrested Monday, a week after the shooting,
when their white Chevrolet Impala was spotted at a fast-food restaurant a few
blocks from the Las Vegas Strip.

They remained in custody at the Clark County jail in Las Vegas.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson called the case important to a
tourist community concerned about violence on the main casino corridor.

“We take these cases very seriously,” Wolfson said.”`But for the grace of
God, this could have been a murder.”

Merritt-Burwell told police she had been staying
at various Las Vegas hotels for about two weeks.

Prosecutor Chris Burton told the judge on Friday that the dispute with the
motorist may have developed after Merritt-Burwell and Youngblood were asked to
leave a club at the nearby Hooter’s casino-hotel.

Witnesses told police that a woman got out of a Chevrolet Impala with Arizona
license plates, approached the man’s vehicle about 11:20 p.m. near Harmon
Avenue, and shot him through an open driver’s side window.


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