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Two charged in slaying of burglary accomplice

Originally ran here as:
"Two charged in slaying of burglary accomplice"
by Ryan Oliver, Staff Writer
Las Vegas Review Journal
April 04, 2002

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- Two people have been charged with second-degree murder after their accomplice was fatally shot by the occupant of an apartment the trio had broken into, Las Vegas police said.

Homicide Lt. Tom Monahan said the apartment resident who shot 21-year-old Morgan Crockett on March 21 will not be charged in connection with Crockett's death because he was acting in self-defense.

Ashley Almquist, 21, and Kellee Salsbury, 18, surrendered to police Wednesday and were booked into the Clark County Detention Center after arrest warrants were issued. In addition to the murder count, the two are charged with burglary with intent to commit a felony.

Salsbury was involved in a dispute with the occupant of the Polo Club apartment, 4201 S. Decatur Blvd., near Flamingo Road, and arrived at his front door accompanied by Crockett and Almquist to "settle the matter," Monahan said. When the resident refused to open the door, Crockett and Almquist scaled a tree to gain access to a balcony and forced their way inside, he said.

The resident confronted them with a handgun, a struggle ensued and both Crockett and Almquist were shot, Monahan said. Crockett, a professional snowboarding instructor, was killed and Almquist suffered a nonfatal bullet wound to the shoulder.

The decision to charge Salsbury and Almquist in connection with their friend's death came after an extensive review of the law, he said.

"When any of the participants in a crime are killed, the remainder of the suspects are eligible for murder charges," Monahan said. "I can't recall in the past where I would have used the law. But ultimately, it was endorsed by the DA's office, and an independent judge reviewed the evidence and agreed there was just cause."

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