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Murder suspect caught again

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Out on bond, Maestas had warrants for failure to appear

By Tom McDonald

A man accused of killing his brother a year ago was apprehended Thursday afternoon by Las Vegas police officers — this time for outstanding failure-to-appear warrants.

Joseph Maestas, 43, was caught after officers saw him outside Trujillo’s Liquor on Grand Avenue. He was arrested inside the store on two bench warrants for failure to appear in district court for first-degree murder and in municipal court for a traffic citation.

Maestas is charged with an open count of murder in the death of his older brother, 55-year-old Michael L. Maestas in February 2010. The case remains in district court.

On Thursday, Officer Tim Leyva reported, he and Sgt. Martin Salazar were on patrol in separate squad cars. After Leyva noticed three people in front of Trujillo’s Liquor, Salazar told Leyva on the radio that one of them was Maestas. Salazar had dispatch run a check for outstanding warrants and it turned up the two, including a failure-to-appear bench warrant issued a week earlier.

Maestas went inside the liquor store and Leyva parked his police car in front and went inside, according to Leyva’s report. He said he found Maestas sitting inside the bar area and walked him outside to his car. After verifying his identity and confirming the outstanding warrant, Leyva said he arrested and handcuffed Maestas.

Maestas, who had been drinking, was first taken to Alt Vista Regional Hospital, where he was given a medical clearance. He was then taken to the county jail.

Maestas’ brother, Michael Maestas was found dead on the morning of Feb. 15, 2010, in a chair on the front porch of his father’s house at 922 Railroad Avenue, with a large cut to the left side of his neck. According to a probable cause statement at the time, Joseph Maestas told police that he and his brother had been drinking the day before when an quarrel in a nearby alley turned into a physical fight. He said his brother pulled a knife but he was able to take the knife from him, cutting his brother on the neck then fleeing the scene.