Two men accused of abducting, beating and robbing former Seminole wide receiver Javon Walker will have new lawyers and another court date Tuesday from a judge who told them he'll consider requests to reduce bail later this month.
"We need to find both of them new lawyers and reset the preliminary hearing," Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Tony Abbatangelo said as Deshawn Lamont Thomas, 40, and Arfat Abdo Fadel, 30, appeared before him by videoconference from the Clark County jail.
The judge canceled a Wednesday hearing for Fadel, combined the cases and scheduled a July 29 evidence and bail hearing for both men on felony kidnapping, robbery and conspiracy charges. A kidnapping conviction carries a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Neither Thomas nor Fadel has entered a plea.
Police allege Thomas and Fadel followed the former FSU football star while he spent a night club-hopping and gambling, and talked the Oakland Raiders wide receiver into willingly getting into their vehicle just before 6 a.m. June 16 at the valet entrance of the Bellagio resort.
Walker was found a little more than an hour later, robbed and unconscious on a side street off the Las Vegas Strip. Police have said Walker was hospitalized for two days with facial injuries and a concussion. He told investigators that about $3,000 in cash and $100,000 worth of jewelry were stolen.
At the time of Thomas' July 8 arrest, the five-time convicted felon was free on $200,000 bail in a pandering, kidnapping and prostitution case set for trial in August in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, according to court records. He was being held on $1 million bail in the Walker robbery case.
Thomas has five prior felony convictions dating to 1987 in California's Alameda County, on charges including cocaine possession, assault with a firearm, being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm and possession of cocaine base for sale, according to court records.
Fadel was arrested June 20 and charged several days later in the Walker case. He asked the judge to lower his $73,000 bail, citing his plea of no contest July 9 to an unrelated misdemeanor battery domestic violence charge.
Fadel was sentenced in that case to 30 days, including time already served, a court spokesman said. Felony charges of kidnapping and coercion were dropped.
Prosecutor Joshua Tomsheck told the judge that Fadel represented a flight risk because he has few roots in the community and no permanent address. The prosecutor said Fadel was being evicted from an extended-stay motel when he was arrested in the Walker case.
Lawyers Betsy Allen, for Thomas, and Gabriel Grasso, for Fadel, each said they were too new to the case to comment immediately after the brief hearing.
Allen and Grasso were appointed after Robert Lucherini, Thomas' lawyer in the pandering case, withdrew. The county public defender's office said it could not represent either man because of conflicts.