The one letter to cap my entire year, this year of unexpectedly historic challenges and deeply unjust uses of government aggression upon the people of Nevada, and the country, from the world stage to the directly personal, came to me from a woman I never talked to before and had no relations to, and immediately hit me. Since then the developments have brought tears to my and others’ eyes numerous times. She found me via an article I wrote (Peaceful Vegas Activists and their Families Under Assault by LVMPD) concerning Judge Kephart, who happened to be the judge presiding over her son’s, Jason Mahe’s, case (now it is no longer being handled by Kephart).
Jason was shot 9 times, including 7 times in the back, by police. He lost 150 pounds in the first 6 months of being jailed, and his gunshot wounds, one of which broke his arm, developed Staph infections and Septis. He most recently, after getting choked and punced by a Corrections Officer, had surgery down to the marrow of his leg. There are far more disturbing details but I wanted to quickly get to what I found the most immediately concerning.
I am not here to make a case for what crimes were committed or even whether their shootings were justified, but I see that Mahe has not killed anyone and the evidence shows the police lied in their reports for the press, including on television, and supports Jason’s story. Regardless, the detention system out here has a responsibility to keeps their inmates alive, but they are doing a repulsively disgusting job of barely letting Jason Mahe survive. Each party deserves to have their side of the story heard, and so far the public defenders have not even had Jason appear in court and have said the bullet entry wounds in the back “are not relevant”. And the effort they are putting to keep any information about Mahe quiet is extremely suspicious and begs deeper investigation.
I’ll start with the story given to me by Jason’s mother, Barbara Anne Sprouse (some editing already done by CopBlock), not the original message since facts came in over time, but a combination of what she’s told me over time until now and summarized more, and then some of what else I’ve learned from others who have checked in with the case, including a very ethical honorable and prominent lawyer who was jailed basically indefinitely very shortly after taking this case.
“March 04 2014 – Dotty’s Casino Ranch & Vegas Drive.
JASON A MAHE and ERIN BRESHEARS were playing at machines in a Dotty’s and Erin at one point told Jason she needed to go to the restroom. At one point three Metro Officers (DARRIN KAPLAN #13421, CHRISTIAN BELT #13694 & CHRISNAR SOK #14069) came in, looking for a couple who allegedly tried to pass off a fake twenty at the 7-11 across the street. One asked if Jason was “Lucky”, to which he jokingly responded “No as a matter of fact I am very unlucky on this machine right here, look.” But not seeing the other person (Erin Breshears) they left for a few minutes.
Getting anxious, Jason looked around for Erin since she had been “in the bathroom” for a long time. He sat back down at the slot machine. Soon, the three Officers returned and made a bee line to Jason Mahe. One asked if he goes by the name of “Lucky” and Mahe looked up from his game and told them “No my name is Jason Mahe, what’s this about?” One of the officers told him he fit the description of a man who tried to pass off a fake twenty across the street and then asked him to step outside so they could “clear this up”. Jason stood up and one of the officers was in front of him and two behind him, and this is also how they stayed when outside the casino.
Once outside the standard questions were asked and Jason answered them all when he was asked for his ID he replied he did not have it on him. When asked if he had any drugs or weapons on his person, Jason Mahe told the officers “I do not have any drugs no sir but I do have an unloaded pellet gun in my pocket here” as Jason reached into his pocket to pull it out and hand it to them it fell on the ground.
The next thing Jason knows he is being shot by all three officers. He was struck nine times – seven of those were in his BACK.
As his body jerked and twisted with each bullet that was hitting him he quickly fell to the ground in massive pain and shock from just happened. Jason over heard one of the officers say “Oh shit now what?”.
Jason told me (Barbara, Jason’s mother) he felt each bullet strike his skin then enter into his body with a strange jerking motion he cant explain the bullets hit his intestines (he had to wear a colostomy bag for many weeks since the shooting ) bullets struck his femur bone in his left leg which shattered in many places, bullets broke several of his ribs but saved his heart by one human hair width, they also broke his arm and elbow (which till this day has not been set or even remotely repaired).
As Jason lay there in a massive pool of his own blood in critical condition, Jason thought he was going to die. As he was rushed to UMC Hospital on Charleston Blvd in Las Vegas, NV, he flat lined twice (he was told this later while still in the hospital).
(edit by author): As for Erin, it was reported that she was arrested separately and released from jail the next day. She had the keys for a stolen vehicle that Jason got charged Grand Theft Auto for. Also, despite having a warrant when she was later used as a witness in Mahe’s case, she remained free without paying it and her warrant was cleared.
March 05 2014 – 8am near Rainbow and Smoke Ranch. I had just gotten up poured a cup of coffee was online reading headlines on Las Vegas Sun, the local paper, when I read the following headline: “Man shot by Metro Police officers at Dotty’s was a fugitive.” I dropped my cup of coffee and fell to knees in my living room and screamed “OH DEAR GOD NO” I knew who it was without reading anymore.
I got on the phone and called the police department and was told Jason was not there, so I called UMC Hospital (knowing that is where all trauma goes) again I was told he is not there. I called every hospital in Las Vegas only to be told he is not there, so I made a call no parent ever wants to make, I called the Medical Examiner.
As I tried to tell the lady who answered the phone what had happened as I cried so hard she could barely understand me, she did the best she could to calm me down over the phone and she put me on hold (seemed like forever). When she came back online she told me no he is not there but he is in UMC Hospital in critical condition and because of the privacy laws they could not tell me anything. I thanked her for her help and called back to the hospital where I was lied to once again – though my son who was there in critical condition and was still on the operating table fighting for his life – I was told “NO HE IS NOT HERE”.
So I got a ride to the hospital and was told by staff and by officers that Jason was not there. They threatened me with jail if I did not calm down. I left and started calling every person at the Las Vegas Metro Police Department, explaining what had happened and I wanted information on my son and his condition. I was transfered to people who did not pick up so I was forced to leave a message, I kept calling back and even was hung up on.
Then I reached a Lt. Richards (who was the rudest person I have ever talked to in my life) and I told him what had happened and that I wanted info on my son Jason Mahe and I also asked him why didn’t anyone call me or come and tell me what had happened. The reply I was given from Lt. Richards was this: “Your son is a bad guy and we do not have to tell you anything about him or his condition – go get a court order.”
I did get an order from the court signed by Judge William Kephart. But Las Vegas Metro Police still denied me the right to see my son who had been shot nine times, seven in his back, who was on life support and very much on his death bed. And no one who denied me entry got into any trouble.
Jason Mahe was in UMC hospital for over 18 weeks, where he unfortunately contracted several strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus plus bacterial meningitis, on top of his major health problems from being shot. Due to Jason’s being shot and him being on life support for so long and not only one but several strains of staph plus bacterial meningitis, he is DYING!
Doctors at UMC Hospital told Jason that they have done all they can do they have given him every known treatment for these and for him to prepare himself for a very short life. While Jason was in the hospital several times he requested to make his one phone call and each time he was denied to make any calls, not even to me, his mother.
Some weeks after the shooting Detective Mitchell Dosch #7907 and his partner Detective Clifford Mogg #5096, investigators from homicide unit went to UMC Hospital to “interview” Jason. When the Detectives arrived at UMC Hospital Jason Mahe had just been given a very large dose of Dilaudid (hydromorphone hydrochloride) a heavy duty narcotic, and it was even noted in Jason’s medical chart that the Detectives were advised NOT TO “INTERVIEW” Jason right now due to the pain medication he was just given. But of course that advise was ignored. Jason Mahe recalls requesting a lawyer present while they were “interviewing” him but his request was refused. Jason does not recall much of that “interview” that day.
Finally Jason was taken to Clark County Detention Center (330 South Casino Center Blvd Las Vegas Nv 89101) and he finally got to make his phone calls that he had requested so many times prior to make and the first one was to me, it was so wonderful to hear his voice but at the same time it was heartbreaking due to the news of his health he was telling about.
The jail had him for six weeks or so in a unit that they claim is for “medical” but according to Jason it’s more like the “hole”. Two large heavy steal doors before you even get inside of Jason’s unit. There is no visits from family or friends while you are in there and no phone contact. There is no other contact with other inmates very little contact from the “guards” there.
Now when Jason was first put into the medical unit he was alone of course but now he is in a wheelchair, due to his femur bone being shattered in several places and his arm which is damaged beyond repair just hangs there. At this time Jason still weighed in between 160 lbs and 180 lbs, (he is 6ft. 6in.) but Jason was very week and could not transfer himself from the wheelchair to the bed or even go to the restroom without help from one of the guards there. Jason did not get to take a shower for well over a month due to the fact the medical unit has no rails or bars or special showers for inmates to use (yes the medical unit).
While he was in the medical unit Jason had to go have several operations on his leg where the infection was the worst. Yet that did not address the situation so only after his and my complaining, when his thigh was 36″ around and as red as sunburned skin, he was taken back to UMC Hospital for yet another operation.
Finally 22 weeks after Jason was shot I finally got to see him. I fell apart he looked terrible he had lost so much weight he did not even look like my son – “OMG what have they done!?” I thought.
Jason was moved to another unit so he could talk with other inmates, use the phone and take showers but then on Sept. 8th 2014 he had some sort of episode and they put him back into the medical unit. Jason told me that on that day a Corrections Officer by the name of SKOBIE punched him in his face and choked him out to the point another corrections officer had to pull him off.
Jason is in a wheelchair and now weighs only 103 lbs yes – ONE HUNDRED AND THREE POUNDS! He is ill and he is dying the jail nor anyone else cares, he has lost over 147 lbs since March.”
(quoted from Barbara Anne Sprouse, with edits by the author)
Then these recent updates:
In October I (Jason Nellis) informed my friend who is a very good lawyer who knows rights very well and was candidate for DA, Jim Duensing, of the case, and he immediately became very interested and wanted to take it, and get a medical examination for Jason Mahe. He was able to visit Jason once and said he definitely looked like he was dying, and Jim became very concerned for his life. However, within weeks, a trial came up that ended up resulting in Jim’s freedoms being taken away completely, and cutting off his access to Jason. This was also immediately after Jason’s whereabouts again became unknown and communication was again cut off.
Jason was taken back into UMC hospital in early November, and for over two weeks his mother could not find out where he was exactly or get a hold of him. Barbara was told by a nurse he was transfered there for a life-threatening surgery, but then when she went to find out where he was they told him he was not there. She even had a Chaplin go look for him and he could not find Jason anywhere. Finally, around the time they were about to take him back to jail, she heard from him. Here again in Barbara’s words (with slight edits):
“The reason Jason ended up back in UMC was due to the fact that the infection in his leg was so bad, that his leg POPPED. (can you imagine the pain of that omg) The infection that my son told them was still there was so bad it was eating the titanium rod in his leg. This means the entire time the staph infection was left untreated for months, which has now led to other things. It’s not bad enough he got shot, he had contracted Staph and now he has something called Septis which my mother died from.
When they took out the rod they had to cut away a lot more of what bone was left in his leg and because of all the idiots at the jail ignoring him, everything is off whack, he almost bled to death on the operating table.
He was given a total blood transfusion and his hemoglobin is so low he may have to have another one. He still has blood in his stools and his urine. He tested positive for the Staph still in his nose and leg plus the bacterial infection in his blood even with the transfusion is still there.
Now we are facing the fact that because of this neglect the infection, left untreated, has now moved into his marrow and organs. Jason is still in so much pain he has told the doctors who don’t care to cut his leg off.
11/06/2014 9:00 AM
– The Corrections Officer advised Deft is in the hospital. Mr. Hamner advised Ms. Letizia had asked to continue to 11/20th and the State has no opposition. He further stated they have reached an agreement and Deft is in the hospital with medical issues. Court waives Deft’s appearance. COURT ORDERED, matter CONTINUED. CUSTODY (COC) 11/20/14 9:00 AM DEFT’S MOTION TO INSPECT EVIDENCE AND/OR RETURN SEIZED PROPERTY”
(quoted from Barbara Anne Sprouse, with edits by author)
Barbara reached out to any lawyers to try to have his hospital stay extended, since he apparently had no received sufficient medical treatment, but he was unreachable and taken back to the jail before any lawyer could talk to him. Still, no lawyer has been able to visit with him. I tried to make the hearing of November 20th but unfortunately could not make it. Barbara went and told me they did not say much, except for Jason not being there and the next hearing would be on April 7th.
However the day after the hearing Barbara finally received a call from Jason, in which he told her he was not told about the 11/20 hearing. He also informed her that one of the cops that shot him, either Sok or Belt, had sat on him in the hospital bed and basically said numerous intimidating things, including that they knew everything Jason’s mother Barbara has said online. After that Jason finally was able to get a social worker, Kim Paddio, to move him, after Jason showed he was in fear of his life and now his mom’s.
Again I am not trying to convince anyone he was innocent, the priority here is getting him the medical treatment he needs, but isn’t the way the public defender has handled this strange? According to Barbara, “one of the officers who shot Jason lied stating that Jason had pulled the “GUN” out of his waistband and pointed at them, that is when he and his fellow officers who were only 15 ft or less from him began to shoot him in his front area of his body. Jason told his public defender to ask if that were true then why are all but one of his entry wounds in his back? His public defender HARMONY LETIZIA tells Jason that’s not important.”
And pieces of Barbara’s very latest update given to me just now, after she got a phone call from Jason:
“i just talked to him he sounds TERRIBLE. I got a feeling in my gut he is not gonna make it till xmas.
He is in a negative pressure cell. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_room_pressure
He isn’t going to see 30 years old. Mothers just know things…”
Please follow this story, as there will be updates, and we need to make sure they do not let Jason Mahe die in jail their from their maltreatment, triggered by gunshot wounds and broken bones the police inflicted upon him. This is the most urgent article I have published all year, this year of far more disturbing police-involved stories than I ever expected, and I took way too long to get this out there. Gladly CopBlock and others, especially Barbara herself, have gotten this story out there, but Jason needs much more medical help/release and representation before he dies. From 250 pounds to 100 in less than six months, that should say it all right there.
Clark County Detention Center: (702) 671-3900