A judge on Tuesday threw out a murder charge against a teenager accused in the killing of a woman during a purported drug deal in the northwest Las Vegas Valley.
Daelin Wagner’s attorney, Kristina Wildeveld, said the 19-year-old was at work for the city of Las Vegas parks and recreation department when Alyssa Sayago was shot and killed at a vacant home.
District Judge Eric Johnson found insufficient evidence in charges against Wagner and dismissed charges of murder and conspiracy to commit robbery.
“I congratulate Judge Johnson for doing the right thing,” Wildeveld said. “It takes a lot of courage for a judge to do that. He followed the law, which is what he was elected to do. It’s not to do the popular thing, it’s to follow the law.”
Wildeveld said she hoped Wagner would be released from the Clark County Detention Center sometime Tuesday, but prosecutors could still seek charges against Wagner through a grand jury.
Detention Center records showed Wagner had not been released as of Tuesday night.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo said the judge “disagreed with our interpretation of the evidence, which we believe clearly demonstrated the guilt of the defendant. While a setback, it is not the end of our efforts to get justice for Alyssa from all of the people involved in her murder.”
Wagner sent text messages to 19-year-old Sayago in early 2016, arranging the purchase of an ounce of marijuana, according to court records and those involved in the case.
Wagner and Desert Rose High School student Khari James, 17, arranged to meet with Alyssa Sayago on March 13 to purchase an ounce of marijuana from her, according to an initial police report.
Wagner initiated contact with Sayago and asked to meet at 9:30 p.m. at the YMCA on Durango Drive to make the purchase, the report says, but he later changed the location to a vacant home on Copper Knoll Avenue, telling Sayago he lived there.
Sayago was later found shot to death in the home’s backyard, killed by a single bullet to the head.
“He wasn’t even there,” Wildeveld said of her client. “He didn’t know a robbery was going to take place. You can’t charge him for the murder.”
The attorney said others who have not been charged may be involved in the killing.
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