April 24, 2024

USA: Prominent Las Vegas Attorney, Wife Killed By Another Attorney Representing Son In Custody Battle At Lawfirm Morning Of April 8 New Moon. Ex-Husband Just Awarded Partial Custody Of Children.

As I wrote in my last post, sorry I'm late posting this news here. There seems to be a pattern as you will see with the posts I'm going to share following this one. I did get this information out on my social media accounts. (emphasis mine)
FOX5 Las Vegas published FOX5 Las Vegas pubilshed April 22, 2024: Summerlin law office shooting survivor recalls tense moments before shots rang out. Attorney Lisa Rasmussen was a witness to the deadly shooting at Prince Law Group in Summerlin. Our Victoria Saha reports.
8 News Now — Las Vegas published April 9, 2024: Mother was concerned about safety before Las Vegas law office shooting, documents reveal. Text messages, an email and a surveillance report reviewed by the 8 News Now Investigators reveal more about a bitter custody battle that resulted in a deadly shooting inside a Las Vegas law office.
KTNV Channel 13 Las Vegas pubilshed April 9, 2024: Legal community hopes tragic shooting spurs review of representation in family court cases. Members of the legal community hope family court judges take this tragedy as an opportunity to review whether to continue allowing family members to act as lawyers for other family members.

KTNV13 ABC News, Las Vegas local
written by Darcy Spears
Tuesday April 9, 2024

LAS VEGAS — Court records lay out the story of a contentious custody case with allegations of alcohol and cocaine abuse, and domestic violence. It's an ongoing case that preceded three deaths Monday morning.

"These types of cases produce the most volatility of any type of case in the legal community," said longtime Las Vegas attorney Malcolm LaVergne.

Multiple sources confirm that on Monday morning, attorney Dennis Prince and his new wife Ashley were shot by Ashley Prince's former father-in-law, attorney Joe Houston II, during achild custody deposition at the offices of Prince Law Group on the corner of Charleston Boulevard and Pavilion Center Drive.

Houston then shot and killed himself.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police confirm at least seven people - including the victims and shooter - were present during the deposition.

Prince was said to be representing his wife in the custody proceedings.

"How he got involved in this case as the lawyer for his wife is a little peculiar," noted LaVergne. "And there was a motion brought by Joe Houston to disqualify him from being on this case. That motion was denied."

Joe Houston was representing his son, attorney Dylan Houston, in the case. Dylan is Ashley's ex-husband.

"Joe Houston was also not just a disinterested attorney taking on a stranger. These were his grandkids! So, throw all these things together and you have a perfect storm for the absolute disaster that you have here. And the fallout is going to be tremendous."

LaVergne, who knew Joe Houston, wouldn't have believed him capable of such a heinous act.

"He had a swagger; he had a cowboy-ish way about him, very cordial, and he was a character. That's how I would describe him. Certainly nothing on a level that would produce this behavior. I find it hard to believe that on Sunday, Joe Houston had murder in his heart, and on Monday, two people are dead. And really three people are dead, so it's an all-around tragedy because Joe killed himself," he said.

LaVergne and others in the legal community tell 13 Investigates that the court allowing Prince to represent his new wife in a custody case was like pouring gasoline on a fire.

"The judges should be doing a better job at keeping the water from boiling over." LaVergne said.

Another attorney who requested anonymity said, "Representing your new wife in a child custody hearing where opposing counsel is the father of the former husband is not a great idea, especially since you just served them with a petition seeking full custody."

Members of the legal community hope family court judges take this tragedy as an opportunity to review whether to continue allowing family members to act as lawyers for other family members, especially in cases where they have such a strong interest.

As for the police investigation, anyone with any information about the shooting is urged to contact the LVMPD Homicide Section by phone at 702-828-3521, or by email at homicide@lvmpd.com.

To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 702-385-5555, or on the internet.
FOX5 Las Vegas published April 17, 2024: Heated custody battle following Summerlin shooting. Dylan Houston was awarded partial custody of the children.
Dylan Houston is the son of the man who shot and killed his children's wife and new husband. (emphasis mine)
Las Vegas Review-Journal
written by Katelyn Newberg
Friday April 19, 2024

A judge on Friday granted the Las Vegas Review-Journal access to hundreds of documents and an assemblage of videos from a contentious custody battle linked to a shooting that left three dead in a Summerlin law office.

The records include vulgar messages from Las Vegas attorney Dylan Houston and a handwritten letter from his mother penned after he filed for divorce from his wife, Ashley, who was shot and killed with Dennis Prince, her attorney and new husband.

After the killings, Family Court Judge Bill Henderson signed an order allowing the news organization to review the records, saying that judicial proceedings should be open to the public.

“Courts have recognized that motions to intervene are procedurally proper when the public or press seeks to intervene for the limited purpose of accessing court proceedings or court documents,” the order states. “Accordingly, the Review-Journal is permitted to intervene for the purpose of seeking access to court records and proceedings. The Review-Journal has First Amendment and common law rights of contemporaneous access to court records and proceedings in this matter.”

After shooting 30-year-old Ashley Prince and 57-year-old Dennis Prince, 77-year-old Joseph Houston II, Dylan Houston’s father, turned the gun on himself at the start of a deposition on April 8 inside the offices of Prince Law Group, located on the fifth floor of the City National Bank Building at 10801 W. Charleston Blvd.

Joseph Houston, also an attorney, was representing his son in the case.

Lawyer Gerald Hardcastle, who now represents Dylan Houston, could not be reached for comment on Friday afternoon.

In court filings, the former couple and their lawyers disputed nearly every aspect of their custody arrangement, from the location of child exchanges and payment of attorneys fees, to alcohol monitoring and confrontations at soccer games and school events.

Hundreds of hours of videos included in the file reveal contentious hearings in which both sides frequently talked over one another and the judge.

Video showed attorneys arguing over Dylan Houston’s alleged substance abuse. During a hearing in November, attorney John Jones, who represented Ashley Prince, said Dylan Houston “can’t even control his behavior in the courtroom.”

Joseph Houston argued that Dylan Houston had been clean for months, and that he was never intoxicated with the children.

Throughout the case, Ashley Prince and her lawyers accused Dylan Houston of a pattern of threatening behavior, while he accused his ex-wife of vindictive tactics and an unwillingness to co-parent with him, records show.

In June, Henderson set another order dictating behavioral expectations for the case, including banning communication between Ashley Prince and Dylan Houston, and setting limits on when he could drink. The order came after Ashley Prince accused her ex-husband of intentionally lying to the court.

“It is further ordered that anyone who alleges contempt as to a behavioral order issue shall make sure their own behavior is beyond reproach,” the judge wrote in the order.

Daniel Hooge, bar counsel for the State Bar of Nevada, confirmed Friday that there are no active grievances against Dylan Houston, who has no disciplinary history listed on the bar’s website.

Documents from the custody battle also reveal that in December, Joseph Houston agreed not to be present during child exchanges. Ashley Prince had filed a motion for a neutral location for child exchanges, after describing an incident in which Joseph Houston was reportedly behaving bizarrely.

‘Glaring and wouldn’t move’

In email excerpts included in the filing, Dennis Prince accused Joseph Houston of standing outside Prince’s vehicle and staring at him, his son and his newborn.

“You stood in an imposing way simply glaring at me and wouldn’t move,” according to Dennis Prince’s email, in which he also accused Joseph Houston of being intoxicated.

In an emailed reply, Joseph Houston said Dennis Prince’s “interpretation of events and/or narrative is not accurate; nevertheless, since you are afraid of me, I will not be at any future exchanges with the children.”

During another contentious hearing on Wednesday, Henderson ordered Dylan Houston to turn over his guns to the Metropolitan Police Department in order to have custodial visits with his children, as homicide detectives investigate the killings.

Joseph Houston had prostate cancer, which was referenced in court documents as early as August, but he had learned that the cancer had returned just days before the shooting, a close colleague recently told the Review-Journal.

In the years since Dylan Houston filed for divorce in late 2021, attorneys for Ashley Prince filed documents alleging that Dylan Houston had a history of substance abuse, including multiple positive tests for cocaine.

‘Everyone is worried’

An undated letter from Katherine Houston to her son was included in documents filed the past week by Ashley Prince’s attorneys, who are now representing Ashley Prince’s sister in the custody dispute. In the letter, Katherine Houston expressed her sadness over the divorce.

“Everyone is worried about you,” she wrote. “We have been told you are a drug addict and alcoholic.”

The letter was referenced during a court hearing in November, when Ashley Prince’s attorney said he wanted to impeach Katherine Houston as a witness for her son. Jones said the letter showed that Katherine Houston believed her son had a substance abuse problem.

The shooting occurred during the start of a deposition at which Katherine Houston was to be questioned.

Dylan Houston filed paperwork in early March to terminate alcohol monitoring requirements, arguing that he did not drink when watching his children, and alleging that his ex-wife was harassing him by hiring a private investigator to follow him for six months.

Records show that Ashley Prince claimed her ex-husband violated the judge’s behavioral orders in hundreds of messages. In some written communication, Dylan Houston called her vulgar names and questioned her parenting.

“Move to Oregon and get euthanized,” one message read.

Another message, which has been referenced by Ashley Prince’s family since her death, read: “I don’t want to see you unless you’re in a casket.” The message was sent in “early 2022,” according to the filings.

The records were unsealed after the Review-Journal argued that a recent Nevada Supreme Court ruling affirmed that Family Court matters are presumed open to the public.

Ashley Prince was fighting for primary physical custody of her children, ages 5 and 4, since February, the records show. She also had an infant with Dennis Prince.

“There must be a sense of urgency on the cumulative impact of Dylan’s improper messaging and behavior,” her attorneys wrote in a document filed last month.

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