Eldorado Reno security guard arrested for murder in killing of casino patron

1397226706000-Stefen-JohnsonStefan Johnson

Photo credit: Washoe County Sheriff’s Office

UPDATE: The now former guard pleaded GUILTY to manslaughter and is awaiting sentencing.

ADDITIONAL UPDATE: In an absurd result, the killer was sentenced to only six months in jail and $5,000 in “restitution.” Six months for killing someone? Good grief!

It had to happen eventually. A case of patron abuse too egregious to be ignored by police. Unfortunately, someone had to lose their life before authorities would take action against a casino guard amid the ever-present threats of violence against patrons by typical casino thugs.

Though accused killer Stefan Johnson enjoys the same presumption of innocence as any other American, the arrest is a pleasant surprise. I cannot even imagine the pressure to cover it up and not prosecute that the homicide detectives and the DA’s office must have faced from local politicians as well as the powerful Carano family, who own the Eldorado, and other major political contributors in Reno. I don’t think charges would have been filed if this had occurred in Las Vegas.

Johnson lifted (decedent) Victorio-Acevedo to head level, took him over his left shoulder and drove him into the ground, the (Reno police) affidavit says.

“Johnson’s use of force to facilitate a questionable misdemeanor trespassing arrest was excessive and went beyond what is considered acceptable, proper or necessary to facilitate an arrest of an individual who, at the time, was complying with Johnson’s order to leave,” the affidavit said.

Congratulations to everyone involved in the arrest and upcoming prosecution. If Mr. Johnson is indeed guilty, I hope for a swift conviction and long prison sentence. Maybe other casino guards will finally wake up and realize they cannot continue their loathsome behavior, at least in Reno. This case should send shock waves through places like the Cal-Neva, where some guards are particularly fond of bullying people.

Is it too much to hope for that the next time Las Vegas casino guards rough up a patron, appropriate criminal action will be taken instead of the free pass that the guards almost always have gotten in the past? And that perhaps casino management will make better hiring choices — and provide appropriate training?


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