Stateline hotel murder case must wait on feds | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Stateline hotel murder case must wait on feds

Kurt Hildebrand
khildebrand@recordcourier.com

It could be more than a year after the victim's body was discovered before the chief suspect sees the inside of a Douglas County courtroom.

Jose Rodriguez-Quezada, a 44-year-old transient indicted in the stabbing death of a Reno man at a Stateline casino, will face federal immigration charges before he's brought to Douglas County for trial.

Rodriguez-Quezada was scheduled to be arraigned in district court on Tuesday, but defense attorney Matthew Ence said he wouldn't be available until after Labor Day.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Rodriguez-Quezada is facing a federal jury trial on Sept. 25 for being in the United States after he was deported.

On Tuesday, District Judge Tod Young set an Oct. 30 date to arraign Rodriguez-Quezada in the hopes federal authorities have completed proceedings.

Douglas prosecutors have sought to have Rodriguez-Quezada brought to Minden so they can start proceedings.

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The Douglas County Grand Jury brought their only murder indictment against Rodriguez-Quezada in connection with the death of 56-year-old Kevin Leroy Edwards. Edwards' battered body was found in a room at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Oct. 3.

According to a transcript of testimony before the grand jury, Edwards had been stabbed or slashed 30 times when his body was found seated in a hotel room chair by cleaning staff.

Deputies at the scene reported blood on the walls and furniture in disarray after what appeared to be a violent struggle.

Edwards' BMW was missing from the hotel and was the subject of a regional search. It was found three days after the slaying in Wadsworth.

Authorities sought the public's help finding Rodriguez-Quezada, who was spotted on security footage taken at the hotel, allegedly wearing a wig.

Rodriguez-Quezada was homeless, unemployed and living near the river in the Reno-Sparks area for the past year.

He was known to frequent homeless shelters, truck stops and associate with the transgender community, according information issued nearly three weeks after the murder seeking help from the public.

Rodriguez-Quezada was arrested Nov. 20 near the ranch operated by the University of Nevada, Reno, on East McCarran Boulevard after police discovered he had a concealed weapon.

A background check revealed Rodriguez-Quezada was a previously deported felon. He faces Reno charges of ex-felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit and obstructing a public officer. There is also a hold on him for a warrant out of Washington state and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The bail in the case was set at $1.5 million. Rodriguez-Quezada is being held at the Washoe County Detention Facility on an illegal re-entry hold by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.