Woman ac­cused of killing ‘Star Trek: Ex­pe­ri­ence’ ac­tor

Las Vegas Review-Journal - - NEVADA - By Mike Shoro Las Ve­gas Re­view-jour­nal

The bul­let hid for three-and-ahalf years be­fore any­body no­ticed it was there. The .38-cal­iber round sat in­side a plas­tic ta­ble, next to the chair where po­lice found a for­mer ac­tor with a gun­shot wound to the head.

There it re­mained un­til his son heard a rat­tle when he moved the ta­ble in June.

The bul­let proved key, au­thor­i­ties say, to link­ing Kelleen A. Cota, 57, to the 2013 shoot­ing death of Charles Thomas Deish­ley.

Cota was ar­rested Thurs­day morn­ing at a res­i­dence on the 3100 block of Bel Air Drive, near Mary­land Park­way and Desert Inn Road.

She is be­ing held at the Clark County De­ten­tion Cen­ter with­out bail on sus­pi­cion of first-de­gree mur­der with a deadly weapon and con­spir­acy to com­mit mur­der.

Cota, Janette Anais Martinez and James An­thony Martinez-amador were pre­vi­ously ac­cused of de­fraud­ing Deish­ley of nearly $1 mil­lion. A grand jury in­dicted them in Au­gust 2016 on charges of rack­e­teer­ing, em­bez­zle­ment, forgery, ob­tain­ing money un­der false pre­tenses and grand lar­ceny.

The in­dict­ment linked the three to his death, but none had been ac­cused of mur­der un­til a war­rant for Cota’s ar­rest was is­sued Sept. 7.

Court records show a war­rant for Martinez-amador’s ar­rest was also is­sued Sept. 7, and he faces a charge of har­bor­ing, con­ceal­ing or aid­ing a felony of­fender. He was not in county jail as of Thurs­day night.

Po­lice did not find a bul­let when they first in­ves­ti­gated Deish­ley’s death. He was found Dec. 9 dead in a chair, the TV on and the re­mote in his lap, in his house on the 2800 block of Alta Drive.

Ac­cord­ing to Cota’s ar­rest re­port, de­tec­tives found a .38-cal­iber pis­tol reg­is­tered to Cota dur­ing a Septem­ber 2015 search of Martinez-amador’s house.

Po­lice spoke with Martinez and her at­tor­ney in July, ac­cord­ing to the re­port. Martinez told po­lice Cota had given her .38-cal­iber hand­gun to her brother, Martinez-amador.

The re­port said Deish­ley’s son called the Metropoli­tan Po­lice De­part­ment on June 22 to re­port he found the bul­let. On Aug. 12, the re­port said, foren­sic anal­y­sis de­ter­mined the mark­ings and im­pres­sions on the .38-cal­iber bul­let matched those of test bul­lets fired from Cota’s pis­tol. How­ever, dam­age to the bul­let pre­vented an­a­lysts from de­ter­min­ing if the bul­let was fired from the ex­act gun.

Deish­ley, 70, acted for a decade in the “Star Trek: The Ex­pe­ri­ence” at­trac­tion in­side the then-las Ve­gas Hil­ton. One of his “Star Trek” friends, Ker­stan Szczepan­ski, was there when po­lice found Deish­ley in­side the house.

Szczepan­ski read a text mes­sage about the ar­rest from Deish­ley’s son to the Re­view-jour­nal.

“Hon­estly, I’ve been wait­ing for this for 1,376 days and now I find I’m speech­less,” the text said.

Szczepan­ski said he and the “Star Trek” com­mu­nity are happy an ar­rest has been made.

“We’re re­lieved af­ter wait­ing for so long,” he said.

Con­tact Mike Shoro at mshoro@ re­viewjour­nal.com or 702-387-5290. Fol­low @mike_shoro on Twit­ter.

Kelleen A. Cota

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