The Las Vegas Strip is typically thought of as a place for gambling, nightlife, and fun-filled entertainment. Even when described in a less than favorable light, the words or phrases heard uttered about Las Vegas are along the lines of: “I lost my money there!” “I don’t remember anything after the sixth drink!” “Don’t you dare tell anyone what I did last night.”
Sadly, Las Vegas has become increasingly more dangerous in recent years, and the events that occurred on the Strip earlier this month only support that notion. Two Vietnamese tourists were found dead in their Circus Circus hotel room this month. The individuals: 38-year-old Sang Nghia and 30-year-old Khuong Nguyen, were part of a tour group visiting Las Vegas.
What Happened to The Tourists?
After Sang and Khuong did not show up for a scheduled day trip on June 1st, members of their group asked the hotel to check on them in their room. Security officers found them dead inside the Skyrise Tower room. Shortly after that, detectives learned that several items were missing from the room, including Sang’s cell phone, ring, necklace, watch, and purse.
A Concerning Detail Explains The Crime
A troubling detail about this story is the fact that the hotel room door had a broken door latch.
The day after the two visitors were killed, engineers ran several tests and found that the door would not shut “properly” on its own. “This would allow anyone to open the door by simply pushing it open,” detectives wrote.
Who is The Suspect in The Crime?
Prosecutors charged Julius Trotter, 31, with two counts of each burglarizing the hotel room as well as killing the two tourists. According to a prominent Las Vegas criminal defense attorney, these are serious charges that will require a solid defense. Trotter was arrested after a car chase in Los Angeles.
Metro believes Trotter went from door to door in the Circus Circus to see which were open — since there were no signs of forced entry into Sang and Khuong’s room. “Detectives learned that the suspects who committed these acts were commonly referred to as ‘door pushers,’ ” officers wrote.
A Statement from MGM
MGM Resorts International spokesman, Brian Ahern, provided a statement: “As part of our protocol, Circus Circus security was patrolling the floor where the incident took place that evening, as they do for each floor in the resort every day. It is standard operating procedure for security to check every door to ensure it is latched securely. We have no record of this door being unlocked, unlatched or malfunctioning that evening before the attack took place.”
The Events Surrounding the Crime
Detectives also deduced that Trotter rode up an elevator to the hotel’s top floor at about 4 a.m. About 45 minutes later, he returned to the elevator wearing Khuong’s backpack. When he left the elevator, he met a woman in her hotel room.
The pair then left the hotel with many pieces of luggage and took a cab to the Palms where they checked into a room. Trotter used a player’s card in his name, and officers matched a previous booking photo and Palms security video to the man they saw on the Circus Circus footage.
A History of Violent Crimes
This was not Trotter’s first crime. Metro believes Trotter is responsible for “severely” beating up an 81-year-old woman around 1:30 a.m. this May at the Four Queens hotel. The woman was attempting to enter her room when a man, presumably Trotter, stopped and offered to help her. Trotter then forced his way inside her room and attacked her, stealing her rings, purse, and watch.
Trotter was also convicted of resisting an officer with a deadly weapon after a January 2017 traffic stop. He pleaded guilty to the charge after he drove off from a traffic stop and dragged an officer 75 feet.