Mesa man charged in Vegas massacre ammunition case changing plea
LAS VEGAS – A Phoenix-area man planned to change his not guilty plea in a federal case alleging he illegally manufactured bullets sold to the gunman who carried out the Las Vegas Strip massacre, records and attorneys said.
A hearing for Douglas Haig, of Mesa, is scheduled for Nov. 19 in Las Vegas, according to a notice posted Tuesday.
Haig, 56, is not accused of a direct role in the Oct. 1, 2017, shooting that killed 58 people and injured hundreds. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Haig’s attorney, Marc Victor, and Trisha Young, spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Nicholas Trutanich, declined to say what crime Haig will admit or what sentence he was expected to face.
The aerospace engineer pleaded not guilty and remained free without posting bond following his indictment in August 2018 on a manufacturing ammunition without a license charge. He has been prohibited from possessing guns and ammunition.
Authorities said Haig’s fingerprints were found on unfired tracer and armor-piercing bullets in the high-rise hotel suite from which shooter Stephen Paddock rained gunfire into an open-air concert crowd before killing himself.
Ammunition in the room also bore tool marks consistent with Haig’s reloading equipment, prosecutors said, and Haig’s address was on a box that police found near Paddock’s body.
Haig said after his name became public that he didn’t notice anything suspicious when he sold hundreds of rounds of ammunition to Paddock.
Victor argued that as the only person to face a criminal charge following the shooting, Haig could not get a fair trial before a jury drawn from the trauma-scarred Las Vegas community.
But the defense attorney lost bids to move the trial to another venue, to draw jurors from throughout Nevada, or to have the case heard by the judge instead of a jury.