LAS VEGAS — The Baltimore Post-Examiner has obtained the transcript of proceedings and exhibits from a November 29, 2016 Clark County Nevada Grand Jury that returned an indictment against “Suga” Shane Valentine, charging the crime of discharging a firearm at or into an occupied structure.
That indictment stemmed from an October 8, 2016 incident where Valentine shot into the residence of Alethea Kauffman, the mother of Nehemiah “Neo” Kauffman whose body along with his girlfriend Sydney Land were later found murdered in their Northwest Las Vegas apartment on October 27, 2016.
Land and Kauffman were both shot in the head. The double homicide is unsolved. Valentine was considered by police at one time the chief suspect in that double homicide. It is unclear how police cleared him of being a suspect.
During an exchange of text messages between Valentine and Kauffman on the morning of October 8, 2016, while Valentine was threatening to kill Kauffman, Sydney Land and Kauffman’s family members, Kauffman accused Valentine of being a snitch.
Kauffman texted Valentine: “You the cops homie!!! You,” “I heard you a snitch bruh !!!”, “From the people you say mess with you most bruh you crazy!!!”.“You burnt.” (Burnt in street slang terms means snitched off to the police.)
The following are excerpts from testimony before the Grand Jury.
Marc DiGiacomo, Chief Deputy District Attorney questions Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Detective Jessica Flink:
- I’m a detective with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. I am assigned to the computer forensics Lab. We do digital analysis of electronics, computers, phones.
- Now in particular as it relates to cell phones, do you have a program made by Cellebrite to download the physical information that’s contained within cell phones?
- Did you download a number of cell phones that were provided to you maybe not directly but by way of Mitch Dosch?
- And in particular, were you asked to come down here today and testify to parts of the downloads of two of those phones?
- I’m going to start with Grand Jury Exhibit 14 and 15. I guess when I say start, those are the only two that I have for you today. Can you generally explain what it is 14 and 15 are?
- These are the Cellebrite Extraction Reports of the two phones. These are the hard copies of the reports.
- When you download a phone, what kind of information can you gather from a phone?
- Well, this is an iPhone so you’re going to get what’s referred to as a logical, an advanced logical, meaning what any user can see on the cell phone if they were to open it up and look, as well as some deleted.
- And so when you download the information, even if information had been deleted, there is at least a potential that that information may be downloaded as well?
- Yes, provided it hasn’t been written over, yes.
- Now when you download phones that have been used for some period of time, is there a lot of information that is usually downloaded?
- Yeah, if they’re not erasing their phones and starting over, yes.
- In this particular case in Exhibits 14 and 15, that’s a portion of the Cellebrite Report that was downloaded from those particular phones?
- And so this information is then automatically collected from inside the phone?
- So if I jump into the device information, we know this is an iPhone 6 and the owner’s name shows up as Shelby’s iPhone?
- And that’s whatever that user set it to be, yes.
- But the Apple ID associated with it was email@example.com?
- And there is a, on October 28th and it says UTC minus seven. What does that mean?
- That’s the Pacific time.
- And so at 12:40 p.m. local time –
- — there was a text message, an SMS message sent to this phone saying, “AT&T free message. Your wireless phone number has been changed upon your question; your new number is”?
- And that was sent to the old number which would be (702) 606-****?
- And on this information there is the phone number associated with it, the download. In this case can you the tell me what the phone number for Exhibit 15 was?
- (702) 544-****.
- And the Apple ID associated with the phone?
- What is it that we’re looking at on page 5?
- You’re looking at an iMessage conversation thread between the iCloud, the iCloud number, or, excuse me, iCloud ID which is identified as Neo Kauffman’s, and the phone number (702) 606-**** identified as Shane which means it’s saved in the contacts as that, and then (702) 544-**** identified as saved to the contacts as Sarah mom.
- But that 544-****, is that the same number for this phone as well?
- So the contacts shows it’s identified as Sarah’s mom but the iCloud associated is neothesensei which is Neo Kauffman?
Analysis: Det. Flink said police used a forensic analysis program called Cellebrite to download and recover information from Shane Valentine’s cellphone, 702-606-****, that was later changed by Valentine’s request after the murders to a new number, 702-498-**** and Neo Kauffman’s cellphone, 702-544-****.
Kauffman had Valentine’s number in his contact list identified as “Shane.”
Valentine has Kauffman’s number in his contact list identified as “Sarah mom.”
Valentine had Kauffman’s cellphone number listed in his contact list as “Sarah mom.” From writing several stories on the murders the only “Sarah mom” who had a connection with both Neo Kauffman and Shane Valentine was Las Vegas Township Judge Melanie Andress-Tobiasson and her daughter Sarah.
Judge Tobiasson told the Baltimore Post-Examiner in a 2018 recorded interview that Valentine attempted to recruit her daughter as a prostitute. Tobiasson said she threatened Valentine through his attorney and kicked in the door to his residence. Sarah Tobiasson also told her mother that Neo Kauffman was a friend of hers.
Tobiasson: You know, but uh I contacted his attorney because it was now going on a year that I had been calling Vice and that they had done zero. Absolutely nothing. So I contact Shane Valentine’s attorney, it’s about July now of 2016 and because I know the cops at this point aren’t going to do anything. I call his attorney and I said, ‘hey you might want to get your client a message that, if he calls my daughter again I’m going to take care of it myself.’ So, he does, he gives him the message. You know, we really don’t want to report that. But I was at the point if this guy is going to continue to mess with my daughter, clearly, the police don’t give a shit, they’re not going to protect her. I was the one who went to Shane Valentine’s house, kicked in the door.
Marc DiGiacomo, Chief Deputy District Attorney, questions Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Homicide Detective Jarrod Grimmett at the Grand Jury:
- I’ve been with homicide for two months.
- I’m going to direct your attention back to October 27th of 2016. Did you become involved in the investigation into the death of an individual identified as Neo Kauffman?
- Affirmative, yes I did. October 27th myself and my partner Detective Dosch and other detectives assigned to the LVMPD homicide section responded to 4450 South Hualapai, apartment 1262.
- During the course of the investigation into Mr. Kauffman’s death, were you able to locate his cellular phone within his apartment?
- Yes, I was.
- And that phone, was it collected and eventually submitted and downloaded by Jessica Flink of the computer forensics lab?
- Yes, sir.
- I’m going to show you what’s been marked as Grand Jury Exhibit Number 15 and ask you, do you recognize what’s depicted in 15?
- Yes, I do.
- Is that a very small portion of the information that was able to be downloaded by Detective Flink from Neo’s cell phone, Mr. Kauffman’s cell phone.
- Yes, sir.
- Can you tell the ladies and gentlemen of the jury what the number was associated with that phone?
- The number that was associated with the phone was (702) 544-****.
- During the course of your investigation did you learn about an incident that occurred on October 8th of 2016 at the home of Mr. Kauffman’s mother and grandmother that involved a discharging event into their residence?
- Yes, I did.
- And when you got that phone download, did you go and see what information you could gather from October 8th related to Mr. Kauffman and anything that might have been involved with that?
- Yes, sir. When I went through the phone I immediately went into the October 8th date, the date when the incident allegedly happened based on the information we had learned from our investigation and I immediately saw a series of text message exchanges between Neo’s phone and another number, (702) 606-****. The exchanged message was consistent with the information we had received during our investigation regarding the threats to Neo’s life and the shooting into an occupied structure case that happened at Neo’s mother’s house.
- Are you eventually able to tie the 606 number, the phone that Neo’s phone is communicating with on the morning of October 8th to any particular individual?
- Yes. Eventually, through the course of our investigation, we were able to identify the other recipient or participant in the message exchange as Shane Valentine.
- At some point in time is there a warrant for the arrest of Mr. Valentine that is issued for the discharging event that we’re here to talk about today?
- Yes, sir.
- Eventually, is he taken into custody in California?
- Yes, sir.
- And do you and your partner Mitch Dosch travel to California?
- Yes, sir.
- And do you come into contact with Mr. Valentine?
- Yes, we do.
- When you come into contact with Mr. Valentine, do you also come into contact with a vehicle associated with Mr. Valentine?
- Yes, sir. The vehicle was a 2015 silver in color Nissan Altima. Significant damage was noted in the front of the vehicle, scratches, deep scratches into the paint area, and then there was a Nissan emblem that was missing from the front as well.
- When you came into contact with Mr. Valentine, did you also recover several phones that were with Mr. Valentine at the time he was taken into custody?
- Yes, sir.
- Was one of those phones the, well, was it a phone which at the time had a number (702) 498-****?
- Yes, sir.
- I’m going to show you Grand Jury Exhibit Number 14. Is that a portion of the download of that particular phone by Detective Flink?
- Yes, this a very small portion of the information that was downloaded.
- When you looked at the phone associated with Mr. Valentine, were you able to find the same instant message communications that you found on Neo’s phone?
- No, I was not.
- What were you able to see?
- It appeared that the communications or conversation from October the 8th had been deleted from Mr. Valentine’s phone.
- But it remained on Mr. Kauffman’s phone?
- And it remained on Mr. Kauffman’s phone that we had already recovered and downloaded. So the communication starts on October the 8th at approximately 0031 hours, so just midnight, 31, is when the communication initially started on that particular day between Neo and Shane. The very last communication we have is at 11:56 hours.
Grimmett: In summary, the conversation between Mr. Kauffman and Mr. Valentine started out discussing the possession of a firearm. Mr. Valentine was attempting to obtain a firearm of some sort, and he uses a lot of street lingo when they’re referencing the firearm within the text messages. As the communication continues it was obvious that Mr. Valentine became very upset over Mr. Kauffman’s failure to respond to his text messages and phone calls and as he grew angrier and angrier, eventually starts to threaten Mr. Kauffman, specifically tells him he’s going to kill him. He says he’s coming to his mother’s house; he threatens to go to Mr. Kauffman’s girlfriend’s place of employment. He goes back again and says I’m headed to your mother’s house.
Mr. Kauffman is acknowledging these things, that he’s receiving these text messages, and he kept telling Shane Valentine that he’s trippin’, there’s no reason to act this way, you need to calm down, I don’t know why you’re doing this. And as the conversation continues, Mr. Valentine continues to grow angry and eventually says, I’m at your mother’s house, I’m here, bring your ass out here, I want to kill you. Eventually, he runs the car into the garage and he acknowledges that on the text message and says come out and look at your garage, you should come see it, come on out. I’m going to come in here, be a man. It just continues over and over and over the threats to Neo Kauffman’s life, to the life of his family, his mother, to his friends, Neo’s girlfriend, they’re all parts of this, the threats that are going back and forth between the text messages between Neo Kauffman and Shane Valentine.
- During the course of that is there conversations about come inside the house, Neo threatening to shoot him if he comes in the house?
- Yes, Neo represented himself as being in the house even though he wasn’t physically at the house. He represented to Shane Valentine via the text messages that he was there. So part of the text message communication between Neo Kauffman and Shane Valentine is come on inside, come inside, I’m here waiting for you, come on in here. I’m sitting here waiting for you, I’ll kill you, I’m not going to let you kill me and my family. He represented as if he was there in the house, although he wasn’t. As the text messages continue, Valentine is asking Neo just come on out, come on out and face me like a man. He makes reference to fading, a street term for killing or making someone fade away. So Neo Kauffman is telling him to come on in, he’s challenging to come on inside the house, and Shane Valentine is saying come on out so that you can get faded.
- During the course of the conversation does Mr. Valentine indicate that he has a weapon as well?
- Yes, he does.
- And is there, we heard from Neo’s mother that at some point in time during this incident there is a rock thrown through a window. Is that referenced in the text messages or not; do you recall?
- I don’t recall a rock being thrown through a window in the text messages, but he did make reference to running into the garage door causing damage to the residence itself.
- You indicated that at some point in time when you saw Mr. Valentine’s vehicle that, you said there was a missing emblem. I’m going to show you what has marked as Grand Jury Exhibit 12. The emblem that was missing from Mr. Kauffman’s vehicle – I just made upside down – was the area that it was missing from consistent with that symbol?
- Yes, it was.
- And during the course of your investigation did you learn that that symbol, this symbol was found actually underneath the garage door inside the garage of the Kauffman residence on October 8th during the incident?
- Yes, I did. Like I previously stated, during the text message exchange he tells Neo that he had just caused damage to the garage of the Kauffman residence. When we located Mr. Valentine in Los Angeles, in the Nissan he had the damage that was consistent with someone who ran into the garage door and the emblem from the vehicle, the front emblem was missing from the vehicle as well, consistent with the damage and the items that we had recovered from the Kauffman residence.
Digiacomo: Thank you. That completes my questions if the Grand Jury has any questions.
Juror: Was there a firearm, did you find a firearm in the vehicle?
Grimmett: No, ma’am, I did not.
Analysis: That was a very good question by the juror. It should have been asked by Digiacomo but it wasn’t. Digiacomo was trying to get an indictment for Valentine for shooting into the Kauffman residence, but he never raised the question if Valentine had been caught with a firearm.
The astute juror who wasn’t asleep at the wheel wanted to know if a firearm was recovered from Valentine’s vehicle when he was arrested in California and Det. Grimmett said they did not recover a firearm. That juror gets an A+ from me.
Also from Grimmett’s testimony, we know that after the Land/Kauffman murders, Shane Valentine deleted the threatening text messages off his phone from October 8th, 2016 and then got a new cellphone number either before or after he fled Nevada for California.
This is further corroborated by Exhibit 14 which is the Cellebrite Extraction Report which the Baltimore Post-Examiner has obtained. According to the Extraction Report for Valentine’s cellphone, on October 28, 2016, at 12:40 p.m. AT@T sent a message to Valentine’s cellphone number, (702) 606-****, advising Valentine “Your wireless telephone number has been changed upon your request. Your new number is (702) 498-****.”
According to the Cellebrite Extraction Report after Valentine gets his new number on October 28th he texted his friends; “It’s Suga new #”, “Suga bro new #”, “Is Suga new line”, “It’s Shane bros new line”, “It’s Suga new # lock me in”.
Valentine didn’t flee Nevada after the October 8th incident when he shot into the Kauffman residence, but he did flee to California after the murders in the same vehicle he used on October 8th.
I don’t know why the Clark County District Attorney’s Office was only seeking an indictment on Valentine for shooting into an occupied dwelling and not a more serious charge. Valentine texted Kauffman that he was going to kill him and others on October 8th, 2016. Valentine shot into the house that was occupied by two adults and three children with the intent to kill. The grand jury, who heard all the testimony and that of Alethea Kauffman, Neo’ mothers, also had the authority to recommend a more serious charge be brought against Valentine, but they did not do that.
Pamela Weckerly, Chief Deputy District Attorney, questions Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Crime Scene Analyst Gabrielle Guerrero at the Grand Jury:
- You were working as a crime scene analyst on October the 8th of this year?
- Yes, I was.
- Were you the only crime scene analyst who responded to that scene?
- Yes, on that day I was.
- And when you got to the scene, what were your duties in terms of documenting what had occurred there? What did you do as a crime scene analyst?
- As a crime scene analyst there I took notes of what I observed on the scene and photographs of what I observed at the residence.
- And did you collect any evidence?
- I did.
- Do you remember what it was that you collected?
- Yes. In the driveway, there were small gray plastic pieces that looked like they belonged to a vehicle in the driveway and on the other side of the garage door, there was a Nissan emblem that was also gray in color.
- Do you remember if you saw a rock or collected a rock from there?
- There was a rock in the bedroom. It was photographed at the scene.
- Was there damage to the garage that you captured or that you would have documented photographically?
- Yes, there was. There was damage to the lower portion of the garage. It looked bent into the garage. It was not straight. The frame of the garage was slightly bent with gray markings on the exterior portion of the garage.
- Now let’s look at Grand Jury Exhibit 4. What is depicted in that photograph?
- This is showing the address of the residence, as well as a break into the window and that was above the garage of the southeast bedroom. And there’s also an apparent bullet hole that was above that shutter to the side of that damaged window. A bullet hole, yes, it is.
- Bullet hole. Now did you take any steps to go inside the residence to see the path or where that bullet might have gone?
- Yes, I did. This is the inside of that bedroom along that east wall where that bullet hole went straight through and then into the ceiling. Those pink stickers there are just showing where the bullet holes are at, just because they were higher up in the wall and ceiling and they are marked as A1 and that is on the east wall and A2 into the ceiling.
- So the projectile itself or the bullet, that is in the ceiling?
- Yes, that is correct.
- And did you recover it on the 8th?
- I did not recover that on the 8th.
- Now you mentioned that you collected various items of evidence on one side of the garage and then sort of the other side?
- That is correct. So on the driveway, there were vehicle pieces on the driveway, small plastic pieces, and on the other side of the garage, there was a Nissan emblem on the inside of the garage on the floor.
Weckerly: I think that concludes the questions I have for you. Thank you very much. Any grand jurors have any questions?
Juror: You never recovered the bullet, the actual bullet, right?
Guerrero: No, I did not.
Analysis: This is a major problem with me and has been a red flag with me for months. Why the juror had to ask Guerrero that question and not Weckerly, the prosecutor, raises some very serious concerns. Guerrero, the crime scene analyst left the residence without recovering the single most important piece of evidence relating to shooting into an occupied dwelling; the bullet.
In my February 4, 2019, Baltimore Post-Examiner article, ‘Las Vegas sex-trafficker who is suspect in unsolved double homicide threatened victims weeks before the murders’, we questioned why the bullet was not taken out of the Kauffman residence on October 8th, 2016:
The Baltimore Post-Examiner also learned that the following items related to the October 8, 2016 shooting into an occupied structure case, are in the possession of the LVMPD evidence room: Two pieces of plastic, a car emblem, a boulder, and a bullet. There is nothing out of the ordinary with that because as indicated in the police reports, a crime scene analyst responded on October 8th and recovered evidence, which would be in accordance with proper police procedure, more so when shots are fired into an occupied residence, after a suspect had yelled, “Come out you’re a dead man!” The only problem is, the bullet that is in evidence was not recovered from the Kauffman residence on October 8, the Baltimore Post-Examiner was told.
Now that I have obtained the Grand Jury testimony more questions are raised on this issue.
Why didn’t prosecutor Weckerly have Crime Scene Analyst Guerrero explain to the grand jury why she did not retrieve the bullet from the ceiling of the Kauffman home on October 8th. I have seen these CSA’s work and they are meticulous. It makes no sense. If a suspect is later apprehended with a firearm and the police want to match the bullet from the residence to a particular firearm, how are they going to do that when the bullet was never recovered. This was bad police procedure at the least. I believe somebody told Guerrero not to retrieve the bullet and the prosecutor knew that and that’s why she did not follow through with Guerrero. Also, the chain of custody could be challenged in a judicial proceeding if the bullet was retrieved weeks later.
I spoke with several retired Las Vegas Metro police detectives about this and they all told me they never heard of anything like that in their life. They all said that the bullet should have been removed from the ceiling and entered into evidence on October 8th, 2016.
What makes this even more disturbing is what Judge Tobiasson stated to me during my recorded interview with her last year:
Tobiasson: I learned pretty quickly that Shane Valentine was also untouchable, no matter what I said to the police about him, they never went after him. So on October 8th Shane and Neo have a little tiff in text messages where Shane threatens Neo and says he’s coming to shoot up Neo’s house. Neo says, bring it, gives him the address and the gate code and ten minutes later Shane Valentine rolls up to Neo’s mom’s house, and rams his car into the garage with a rental car that’s in his name and fires a round into the house and throws a big giant boulder threw Neo’s moms window, okay. So, the police go out, it’s ten o’clock in the morning. Neo doesn’t want to cooperate of course, but you’ve got three other witnesses, independent witnesses who lived on the street who gives the vehicle description, license plate number, description of the shooter, which matches Shane Valentine. You’ve got the car, rented in his name, you’ve got a piece of the car that fell off in the driveway and you got Neo’s mom who gives a description. Metro closes that investigation two days later, insufficient evidence for prosecution.
Marc DiGiacomo, Chief Deputy District Attorney, questions Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Homicide Detective Mitchell Dosch at the Grand Jury:
- And we heard earlier from Jarrod Grimmett, is he your partner?
- He is.
- I’m going to direct your attention to October 27th of 2016. Did you become involved in the investigation into the death of an individual that was identified to you as a Neo Kauffman.
- I was.
- And during the course of that investigation at that scene did you locate Mr. Kauffman’s cell phone?
- And did you make a request for that cell phone to be downloaded by the computer forensics lab?
- I did.
- Did you also eventually, when you and your partner went to LA and recovered all the phones that were associated with Mr. Valentine, did you also make a request for all of his phones to be downloaded to see if there was any information relevant to your investigation.
- His being Shane Valentine. I did.
- In addition to that, did you learn about an alleged discharging of a firearm event that occurred at Mr. Kauffman’s mother’s home which is depicted here in Grand Jury Exhibit Number 3?
- Yes, I did.
- And did you decide to go back there with crime scene analyst personnel and locate the bullet that had entered the home and lodged in the ceiling/attic area of the residence?
- I did. And specifically, it was on October 30th of 2016.
- And were you present with a crime scene analyst when that ceiling was cut open and the projectile was actually recovered?
- I was.
- I’m going to show you what has been marked as Grand Jury Exhibit Number 13. Do you recognize what’s depicted in that photograph?
- I do. It’s the bullet that was recovered from the ceiling area.
DiGiacomo: Ladies and gentlemen, that completes the presentation of the evidence and we would ask you to deliberate. But before you do, I would like to instruct you that you have heard evidence that Mr. Kauffman, Neo Kauffman died. It was only provided as information to you to explain how it is that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department came into the custody of Mr. Kauffman’s phone and thus had it downloaded and learned the other information that you learned here. Any suggestion that Shane Valentine may or may not be involved in any other criminal activity, if you read those text messages it may suggest to you that there may be other things, none of that is offered or may be considered by you to believe that Mr. Valentine has any character or propensity for violence. It was only offered to give context to the communications that are occurring between Mr. Valentine’s phone and Mr. Kauffman’s phone on October 8th, the day of this particular incident. Can everybody follow that instruction?
Analysis: Valentine obviously had the character and/or the propensity for violence. He threatened to kill, and then shot into the Kauffman residence, sounds like he had an intent to murder.
DiGiacomo had Det. Dosch testify that he retrieved the bullet from the Kauffman residence on October 30, 2016, three days after the bodies of Sydney Land and Neo Kauffman were found murdered. DiGiacomo didn’t ask Dosch why he went back to recover the bullet, if they didn’t have a firearm from Valentine to compare it to as Grimmett testified.
If indeed there was no firearm to compare the bullet to that was removed from the Kauffman residence, that bullet could have been compared to the bullets removed from Sydney Land and Neo Kauffman.
There does appear to be a firearm connected to the double homicide case.
The Baltimore Post-Examiner has obtained a copy of a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department report related to the Land/Kauffman murders. Listed on that report in the properties section is a stolen Smith and Wesson semi-auto firearm, model number SD9VE, serial number HFP6330. Whether this firearm was recovered from the murder crime scene on October 27, 2016, or the firearm was added into the report at a later date, possibly November 8, 2016, because it may be associated with the homicides is unknown.
Homicide detectives were the ones who sought the charges against Valentine for the October 8th incident after the murders were committed. Why Valentine wasn’t picked up sooner is extremely disturbing and so is the fact that the crime scene analyst did not collect the bullet as evidence from the Kauffman residence on October 8, 2016, as I previously stated. Something is seriously wrong with that.
Judge Melanie Andress-Tobiasson’s footprints are all over the double homicide case
As we reported in previous stories including our April 1, 2019, Baltimore Post-Examiner article ‘Las Vegas Judge Melanie Andress-Tobiasson: Vice Detectives wanted me and my daughter dead’, Tobiasson stated during my 2018 interview with her that she was receiving confidential information relating to the Land/Kauffman murders from Homicide Detective Jarrod Grimmett.
Tobiasson reinforced her remarks in a May 13, 2018 email message to the Baltimore Post-Examiner. “We know he [Shane Valentine] was involved based on everything I was told by the original homicide detective Grimmett.”
According to Tobiasson, Grimmett told her that Shane Valentine, Frankie Zappia, a convicted prostitute and step-daughter of now-retired Las Vegas Metro Police Officer Daniel Giersdorf, and Dominique “Domo” Thompson, Frankie Zappia’s pimp were involved in the murders. “I told you about the detective that was originally on the case he told me all the evidence they had that showed it was Shane, Domo, and Frankie”. “I’m told they have Domo’s DNA, that Frankie’s phone pings at the apartment, that they caught Frankie in all kinds of lies and one of the most significant things is that after the two are dead, nobody ever texted them again”, Tobiasson told the Baltimore Post-Examiner.
Tobiasson stated that her daughter Sarah had told her after the murders that Shane Valentine did the murders.
“Friday night at midnight I come home from a concert and my daughter comes to me and she says, “mom I got to talk to you, she said you know that double homicide where my friend Neo got shot, I said yeah, she says, “Shane did it.” And I don’t even ask her how she knows. For some reason all the kids on the street know everything and the cops don’t know shit”, Tobiasson said.
Tobiasson said that on October 25, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. Las Vegas Metro Police vice detectives outed her and her daughter as a source of information during a meeting with Las Vegas Metro Police Officer, Clarence “Ty” Bowden, his daughter Allie and several vice detectives. Tobiasson alleges that Allie Bowden, one of Sarah Tobiasson’s best friends, was working as a prostitute for Shane Valentine and had left Valentine and was now associated with Neo Kauffman. Tobiasson said nearly eight hours later after that meeting Sydney Land and Neo Kauffman were murdered at 12:30 a.m. on October 26, 2016.
“…the double homicide that happened eight hours after I was outed as a source of information to one of Shane Valentine’s prostitutes who had left him and was now working for Neo. Eight hours later, her new pimp is killed by her old pimp because she puts out on Twitter that she had been called in and interviewed by Vice. They know and everyone else knows that this murder happened as a result of what they did that day.” “And they know that the fact that they outed me, got two people killed. They weren’t the two people they were trying to get killed — me and my daughter — but it got two people killed. I tell you, Joe (Sheriff Lombardo) does not want this story out there,” Tobiasson said.
I reached out to Ty Bowden and requested to talk to him concerning the allegations made by Tobiasson. Bowden never made contact with me. I sent an email message to the Las Vegas Metro Police Homicide Division asking if they had ruled out Bowden as a suspect in the murders. They never commented back.
What occurred on October 8, 2016, prior to Valentine shooting into the Kauffman residence
As we reported in a previous story, Aryanne Zappia, Frankie Zappia’s sister told me during an interview earlier this year:
I remember in October  I believe either the 7th or the 8th, Frankie called me freaking out because Shane Valentine had threatened to kill Frankie, Neo and Sydney at the top of Red Rock’s parking garage. Frankie was freaked out, she said he kept calling Sydney’s phone after we drove off and I finally answered and I told him he was a bitch and all of these things and Frankie is saying she told these things to Shane from Sydney’s phone and Frankie said that it was over a home invasion that Neo, which was Sydney’s boyfriend, and Shane had did where Neo kept a gun and some weed and didn’t give it to Shane and Shane had threatened them and that he wanted his portion of the shit and Neo shouldn’t have kept it. They all were very scared, I know that because Sydney was crying, Frankie was freaked out.
Phone records corroborate Aryanne Zappia statement
The Baltimore Post-Examiner obtained the cellphone records of Sydney Land which corroborate as Aryanne Zappia stated, the outgoing and incoming cellphone calls from Valentine on October 8, 2016 from Sydney Land’s cellphone.
Real smart move Frankie to call Valentine from your best friend’s cellphone and threaten him right after he threatened to kill Sydney, Neo and yourself at the Red Rock Casino. Word of caution to you Frankie, how long do you think it will be until the those who know what happened are taken out by the killer?
Text messages between Neo Kauffman and Shane Valentine on October 8, 2016
Grand Jury Exhibit 15 is the Cellebrite Extraction Report that was obtained by the Baltimore Post-Examiner. It lists 18 pages of text messages between Shane Valentine and Nehemiah Kauffman relating to the October 8, 2016 incident when Valentine shot into Kauffman’s mother’s house.
As was pointed out earlier, Valentine has Kauffman’s cellphone number listed in his contact list as Sarah’s mom, for reasons unknown at this time. The following are several of the text messages sent from Valentine’s cellphone to Neo Kauffman. The time period ranges from 9:52 a.m. thru 11:56 a.m. on October 8, 2016:
“Bitch call me”. “I need that strap [gun]. Period.”“And Ima [I’m gonna] clip your bitch”.“Fade [die] pussy”. “Ima make your bitches watch.”“Fade”. “Fade now or get popped later.” “I’m goin to your momma house”. “I’ll let Khari woop u since u young”. “I’m comin to syd job [Sydney Land]”.“I’m at your moms”. “U disrespect me I’ll kill u.” “And you let that bitch talk bout your own nigga like that, Ima fuck u up for that too.” “My niggas woop bitches who talk bad”. “I’ll put my gun down and mangle u myself”. “Ima kill your mom, and brother and bitch, if u don’t run the fade”. “I came to your mom”. “Open the garage”. “Fade nigga”. “Open it, unlock it, u can shoot wen I walk in, open up”. “I’m outside, you wanna shoot”. “I’m not alone, Joe here, DayDay here”. “Check your garage pussy”. “I ran right thru your garage, Go look”. “Ima run into the house next”. “Answer hoe, Front door”.
Judge whose daughter was pimped out by Valentine is presiding over murder case of Valentine’s friend
According to the LVMPD’s Cellebrite Extraction Report, Grand Jury Exhibit 15, in an October 8, 2016 text message that Shane Valentine sent to Neo Kauffman at 9:59 a.m. Valentine said, “I’ll let Khari woop u since u young”
The Baltimore Post-Examiner was told by a confidential source that Valentine’s friend Khari, is in fact Khari Jabari James. James is currently in the Clark County Jail awaiting trial on a murder charge.
Five months after the Land/Kauffman murders, James was charged in the murder of Alyssa Sayago, 19, who was shot in the face after being lured to a vacant Las Vegas house on March 13, 2017 as she was attempting to buy some marijuana.
According to Khari James’ Twitter account from 2013, he posted several pictures of himself holding firearms and identifies as @khari_thaPIMP.
According to court documents James’ case was assigned to Eighth Judicial District Court Judge Michelle Leavitt in 2018 and Leavitt is assigned as the judicial officer for James’ jury trial that is set for February 25, 2020.
Judge Melanie Andress-Tobiasson told the Baltimore Post-Examiner in 2018 that Michele Leavitt’s daughter, Morgan Leavitt, was pimped out by Valentine.
Tobiasson: This all started about in the summer of 2015. I had a case in front of me where a judge’s daughter was a victim of a brutal beating by two female defendants. It turns out that those two defendants worked for a pimp by the name of Shane Valentine, as did the judge’s daughter. The pimp [Valentine] who was at the scene of the initial beating and was actually directing the girls to inflict the beating on this judge’s daughter, was never charged. One of the two girls whose name was Sophia Faraci, died prior to the preliminary hearing. She was the daughter of a guy by the name of Vinny Faraci. Faraci, his dad or family were enforcers for the Bonanno Crime Family, which was interesting considering his daughter was a prostitute for Shane Valentine, who initially I thought was just some thug. So, we have the preliminary hearing and in the middle of the preliminary hearing, four African American guys come in and sit in the back row and start staring at the judge’s daughter who’s testifying, and I kicked them out of my courtroom and in fact, had them escorted out of the entire courthouse. One of those people was Shane Valentine.
BPE: What was the judge’s name whose daughter was also being pimped out, what was her name?
Tobiasson: Michelle Leavitt.
According to court records during the trial that Tobiasson was discussing, Morgan Leavitt testified:
“Shane is telling me that I have to get out of the car and fight them if I want to have the money for my cab fare. And I said, no, I’m not getting out of the car. I don’t want to get out of the car. And I repeatedly said that over and over again. And then at that point, Sophia had reached into the cab driver’s window and somehow got the door unlocked and Dayonna was on the passenger side at that point opening up the door and pulled me out by my hair. I was held back with my hands behind my back while Sophia hit me repeatedly in my face.”
During her testimony, Morgan Leavitt recounted how Dayonna was holding her while Sophia hit her repeatedly in the face, while Shane Valentine watched and did nothing. Tobiasson was correct, Valentine was never charged in that case.
In 2015, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline issued a public reprimand against Judge Michelle Leavitt, for keeping a woman jailed for 10 days on a contempt charge without bail or a hearing in 2012.
According to documents obtained by the Baltimore Post-Examiner, Leavitt admitted she committed violations of the Revised Nevada Code of Judicial Conduct; failure to comply with the law, failure to uphold and apply the law, failure to perform judicial duties competently and diligently, failure to require judicial staff to act in a manner consistent with the judge’s obligation under the Code and failure to be candid and honest with disciplinary agencies.
Judge Michele Leavitt presiding over the 2020 scheduled jury trial of Valentine’s friend Khari Jabari James for murder, I would have to say would be a conflict of interest based on her daughter’s involvement with Valentine.
Valentine’s attorney was appointed a special prosecutor in another pimps case that was pleaded out
According to Clark County court records, Adam L. Gill was the lead attorney who represented Shane Valentine in 2016 on burglary charges and the shooting into the Kauffman residence. Valentine, who is a prior convicted felon for assault with a deadly weapon is currently in prison on those charges.
Valentine has never been charged with any sex-trafficking offenses, even though he has been pimping out young girls for years in Las Vegas.
Tobiasson told the Baltimore Post-Examiner in 2018 that Valentine was being protected by Las Vegas Metro Police vice detectives because he worked for alleged prostitution kingpin and escort service operator, Jamal Rashid aka Mally Mall.
“You got Mally Mall paying off these cops to protect his people and his girls and go after the other pimps. Shane Valentine works under Mally Mall, so he’s protected”, Tobiasson said.
The FBI raided Rashid’s Las Vegas home and the offices of his escort services in 2014. The Las Vegas Metro Police vice unit raided Rashid’s home in 2010. Rashid was never charged with any crime stemming from those raids and many in Las Vegas are asking why that is.
The status of a reported FBI corruption probe of the Las Vegas Metro Police remains unknown.
Valentine’s attorney Adam Gill was appointed a special prosecutor in 2017 in the case of convicted sex-trafficker Ocean Fleming, once a competitor to Mally Mall in the Las Vegas sex-trafficking industry, who filed an appeal of his 2012 conviction.
Gill was appointed because of allegations of prosecutorial misconduct against the prosecutor in Fleming’s 2012 trial, Chief Deputy District Attorney, Elizabeth Mercer. Allegations of police corruption were also raised in the case.
Gill, as the special prosecutor worked out a sweetheart deal with Fleming in 2018 that led to Fleming dropping his appeal for a new trial.
Fleming is due to be released sometime in 2020.
For a better understanding please read our May 13, 2018, Baltimore Post-Examiner story, ‘Las Vegas sex trafficker in prison for life may be released amidst police corruption probe’ and our May 15, 2018 story, ‘Not so special Special Prosecutor gives convicted Las Vegas pimp a sweetheart deal’.
Apparently, Chief Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth Mercer didn’t learn anything from the Ocean Fleming case. You may also be interested in our May 17, 2019, Baltimore Post-Examiner story, ‘Nevada Supreme Court: Vegas Prosecutor Elizabeth Mercer committed prosecutorial misconduct in two cases’.
In our February 19, 2019, Baltimore Post-Examiner story, ‘Did Las Vegas D.A. Steve Wolfson and Sheriff Joe Lombardo cover up corruption’, we reported that on March 7, 2017, from inside High Desert State Prison at Indian Springs Nevada, Fleming spoke via telephone with filmmaker Michael Maroy of the Too Real For TV podcast and said Mally Mall is a police informant.
Fleming: We got Mally Mall who met Detective Baughman through Detective Warren Gray who works for Metro’s organized crime. Now he’s crooked as a motherfucker too. This fool is selling a, I don’t want to cuss on your podcast, this individual is selling department secrets for money. And this is how it goes down. Mally Mall, nobody knows this. All these rappers, everybody is still hanging with this fool and nobody knows. I’m going to expose him. He’s a rat. Point blank period. The boys a rat. He’s a confidential informant for Detective Warren Gray since ’08 bro. A lot of people been getting busted around here, it’s going to be because of this fool right here, be running his mouth to these people, and that’s where the link comes in. And that’s how Warren Gray is the one who introduced him to Detective Baughman, he in with them, he’s in with the in crowd.
Judge in Valentine case is the wife of a vice detective who didn’t follow up on complaints against Valentine
According to the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners, Shane Valentine was scheduled for a parole hearing before the Board on July 15, 2019. Valentine was removed from the agenda due to him being moved from one institution to another after the hearing date was set, and therefore he was not seen by the Board. His parole hearing date has been re-scheduled.
Valentine has been incarcerated in Ely State Prison which is the designated maximum-security prison for the State of Nevada. Valentine has recently been transferred to the Warm Springs Correctional Facility, a minimum-security facility.
According to Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court records for Valentine’s case which he is currently incarcerated for, on April 29, 2019, there was an administrative reassignment – judicial officer change to Judge Jacqueline M. Bluth.
The reason I mention that is Judge Jacqueline Bluth is the wife of Las Vegas Metro Police Vice Detective Kelly Bluth.
Judge Tobiasson told the Baltimore Post-Examiner last year during our recorded interview with her: “I then immediately contacted Vice again and this was probably the fifth or sixth time I had contacted them in this particular period of time, July to December of 2015. I contacted them immediately. Gave them his name, the address she had gone to, the fact that he had drugs and guns in the house, he was ex-felon and the conversation he had had with my daughter and the fact that he was clear that he also had other girls working for him. They did nothing. They said they would look into it. I subsequently learned that not only did they know who he was, but he was pretty much untouchable, and they never even queried the address, because they never had any intention of going after him.”
“The majority of the time, I spoke to Detective Bluth and Beas. That would be Kelly Bluth and Al Beas. Little did I know at this time that they were both subjects of the federal investigation I had no idea because it hadn’t been made public yet.”
“I contacted Det. Bluth and I’m pissed. I said to him, “I assume you heard about the murder at Top Notch, I’m not quite sure why you have blown me off for all this time, but maybe now I have your attention. I said maybe now since there’s been a murder at Top Notch, and I asked you guys to investigate that a year and a half ago, and you knew what was going on there, I said maybe now you’ll investigate Shane Valentine.””
Sounds like there might just be a conflict of interest here.
There is nothing closed here at all. We are just shy of three months when the 2016 Sydney Land and Neo Kauffman murders will be three years unsolved.
There are so many red flags surrounding this case that are very disturbing and many aspects that stink of impropriety.
Why the bullet fired by Shane Valentine was never recovered from the Kauffman residence on October 8, 2016, is outside the bounds of any proper police investigative protocol that I know of and is a major red flag.
Tobiasson asked Connie Land, the mother of Sydney, to turn over all her communication messages between herself and Homicide Detective Mitchell Dosch to Tobiasson. That is extremely disturbing to me. I believe that there is much more to Tobiasson and her daughter Sarah’s involvement in the homicide case.
The Las Vegas Metro Police told Connie Land that Homicide Det. Jarrod Grimmett did not violate police policy when he gave Tobiasson confidential details concerning the homicide investigation. I find that absolutely unbelievable. I would love to ask Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo if there was a legitimate need for Tobiasson to know and was it documented in Grimmett’s report concerning his contact with Tobiasson.
The police compromised the criminal investigation when they went on television and discussed the DNA evidence in the Land/Kauffman murders and released crime scene photographs on national television.
The Baltimore Post-Examiner is continuing its investigation into the homicides.
Future stories will explore discrepancies in the coroner’s report on Sydney Land and certain events surrounding the notification to the police by the person who discovered Sydney and Neo’s bodies on October 27, 2016, and allegations that the crime scene may have been compromised after the murders.
On July 31 we sent a request to the Las Vegas Metro Police for comment on Valentine being a snitch, as Kaufman claimed, and other aspects of this story.
The police declined to comment.
It’s no surprise that the police are not talking but we can’t say the same about “Suga” Shane Valentine. He may still be shooting his mouth off.
But what can you do to stop snitches? Here’s a list of snitches with pictures and locations. Also read: Control of Information so you can stop snitching on yourself. Also: How to find out who’s a snitch and 10 Ways to Spot an Informant and How the cops are tracking you and No Warrant No Problem and Criminal defenses (How to beat your court case) And to inspire you: 7 Fugitives who Became Folk Heroes, How I Lost my friends