The man convicted of the murder and attempted murder of two individuals at a home on Donner Street in 2011 was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Monday by the same jury that convicted him.
Charles Eubanks, 24, appeared in District Court to be sentenced after he was convicted of the murder of Michael “Flat Top” Frasher and attempted murder of Antionette Bell following a May trial in the case.
Eubanks was charged and convicted of first degree murder with use of a deadly weapon, attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon and attempted robbery with a deadly weapon following the May 1, 2011 attack. He and co-defendant Troy Jackson went to the 1600 block of Donner Street looking to kill Frasher on behalf of a meth dealer named Michael Maxwell Jr.
When they discovered Frasher and Bell alone together inside a camper in the backyard, prosecutors say Eubanks and Jackson began stabbing them.
Bell was hospitalized and eventually recovered, but Frasher succumbed to his wounds at University Medical Center in Las Vegas.
Jackson, Maxwell and others involved in the crime took plea deals in the case prior to Eubanks’ trial and are already serving prison time.
A jury convicted Eubanks on all three charges and was invited back to court this week to decide a sentence for the charge of first-degree murder. In the state of Nevada, defendants can be sentenced on charges of first-degree murder by a jury rather than the presiding judge.
Jurors heard testimony from witnesses from both the prosecution and defense before making a final decision.
Dr. Lyndsay Elliott, a mitigation expert and clinical psychologist, conducted an investigation into Eubanks’ past and said she discovered the 24-year-old had a rough childhood, growing up with a drug-addicted mother in North Las Vegas who often left him to fend for himself even as a young child.
“Growing up when Charles was young, his mother basically worked all the time. She provided him a place to live but she was never, ever there,” she said.
At the age of 10, Eubanks’ mother gave custody of him to his 20-year-old brother when she realized she was an unfit mother.
Elliott described several instances where Eubanks discovered his parents in incapacitated states. She said he had to call paramedics to his home at least once after he found his mother unconscious from a possible drug overdose and another time was left at the scene of a car accident by his father, who he later found at a nearby bar.
“His father was a flagrant alcoholic, and keep in mind he was likely schizophrenic as well. One day they got into a car wreck and the father left the scene, presumably to go get help, and Charles then had to leave the scene by himself, at 7 years old, and found his father in a bar down the street, drunk,” she said.
From an early age, Eubanks began hanging out with members of the notorious Donna Street Crips gang and by the age of 11 was arrested by police for the first time.
“He can remember being 9 years old and at nine o’clock at night there was no expectation for him to be home and he had to carry a knife on him for protection. So he started having interactions with the police around that time. He would identify himself as a Donna Street Crip. He was arrested at 11, he’s been arrested a dozen times, and basically lived half his life in custody because he’s never had anyone to protect him,” Elliott said.
Because of his background, Elliott told jurors Eubanks has no real ability to foresee consequences or assess risks.
Nye County Sheriff’s Det. David Boruchowitz, who worked the case in 2011, additionally testified that Eubanks has a long of history of arrests with 10 juvenile arrests before the age of 18.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Kirk Vitto told jurors he believed despite Eubanks’ background, the 24-year-old should be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
“We’re here because of the defendant’s choices. He chose to kill without mercy, without provocation in a way that was senseless and brutal. The defendant deserves to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole,” he said.
Eubanks’ defense attorney, David R. Fischer, however, argued that his client should be given a set term of 50 years with the possibility of parole in 20.
“I think when you look at the mitigating factors, think about what Dr. Elliott had to say about his life, he is a victim, too. That doesn’t excuse murder, no one is asking you to excuse murder, but please look at his life, look at what he’s experienced and consider that,” he said.
Before jurors decided the sentence, they also heard from Bell and Frasher’s family.
Bell told jurors she has both physical and emotional scars from the attack and that she lives in fear for her life to this day.
“I have nightmares, I have flashbacks, I have scars I live with every day on my stomach and my neck and I pretty much live, I’m in fear for my life sometimes because I have flashbacks and those things cause some mental problems thinking he might come after me,” she said. “I never thought in a million years something like that would happen to me.”
Frasher’s younger sister Barbara Melendy directed her testimony more toward Eubanks himself than the jury.
“Charles, the person you are does not surprise me. What you are capable of does not surprise me — it disgusts me. I believe in God, the one true God of heaven and he alone gives life and takes life away ... You made the choice to kill another human being. And you had no problem doing it … In fact, you wanted to kill my brother,” she said. “I’ve seen no remorse from you throughout this. Even today you were full of joy. This is your future.”
Frasher’s older sister Novice Cole also testified at the hearing explaining how much her brother meant to the Frasher family and how she misses him even to this day.
“I love Mike and I miss him severely,” she said. “I often want to call him up to find out what he’s up to or ask for computer help. I have a few of his songs and I play them off and on, but not too often because they bring that day to mind. I have a visual memory, so every time I think of him I think of that day. Mike was known for his generosity and his love. He would do anything for anybody. He didn’t even have to know them. If they needed help he was there. Mike did not deserve the death he went through, no one does, except Charles Eubanks. He deserves that and more.”
Taking all of the testimony into consideration, the jury took nearly an hour to deliberate before coming to their conclusion on the sentencing.
After they decided to give him life without the possibility of parole, the case was turned over to Judge Robert Lane for sentencing on the two other charges.
Before he could finish with sentencing, Eubanks addressed the court, apologizing to the victims’ families and asking the judge for mercy.
“I want to apologize for everything that I’ve done and even though the testimony has said I’m not remorseful, I really am,” he said. “I am remorseful, I’m truly sorry for what has happened, to the victims, the family of the victims who lost a family member and there’s no words that can explain the pain that they’re going through and ultimately the jury has found me responsible for that and I’m sorry.”
Lane gave Eubanks eight to 20 years each on the two counts of attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon and attempted robbery with use of a deadly weapon. He additionally placed an enhancement for using a deadly weapon on each of the three counts, including the first degree murder count, of an additional eight to 20 years as well.
Each of the sentences were set to run concurrent, meaning Eubanks will have to serve one before he can begin serving the others.