Luxor Casino Bomber Now in Max Security Prison After Recapture, Corrections Director Quits

Porfirio Duarte-Herrera, who escaped from a Nevada prison last month, is now being held in a high-security penitentiary, reports said. The head of the state’s corrections department has stepped down as a result of the controversy over the Luxor Casino bomber’s breakout.

Porfirio Duarte-Herrera, left, pictured above in an earlier court hearing. He is now held in a maximum-security prison following his escape last month. (Image: Las Vegas Sun)

The 42-year-old inmate was placed in the Ely State Prison, KLAS, a local TV station, reported. It’s a maximum-security penitentiary.

Duarte-Herrera had been serving a life sentence at the Southern Desert Correctional Center in Indian Springs, Nev. for the murder of Willebaldo Dorantes Antonio. He escaped from his cell on September 23 after applying acid to the window casing of his cell. He left a cardboard dummy in the cell to confuse guards.

Several days later, he was located in Las Vegas trying to board a bus heading to Tijuana, Mexico.

Man Who Recognized Escapee Identified

Gabriel Delgadillo, a Las Vegas Shuttles manager, notified Las Vegas police after spotting someone who matched the description of Duarte-Herrera. Initially, he was reluctant to call 911, but chose to do so anyway, KLAS reported.

There were multiple controversies over the incident, such as the delay in reporting Duarte-Herrera’s escape — or even admitting the fact he escaped in the first place.

In recent days, Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) Director Charles Daniels quit his job under pressure from Gov. Steve Sisolak, KLAS said. William Gittere, the NDOC deputy director of operations, will become interim director.

In addition, a half-dozen corrections department officers were placed on paid administrative leave while their actions in connection with the escape will be reviewed in a state inquiry.

Sisolak Says Never Again

“The situation with the escaped inmate is a serious and unacceptable breach of protocol,” Sisolak said in a recent statement. “I’m grateful the escapee was captured quickly. But let me be clear, this cannot happen again.

Sisolak wants those responsible to “be held accountable.”

The incident “ultimately ended well,” Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo added during a press conference last week. Lombardo credited the efforts by investigative agencies and the media for publicizing and distributing the suspect’s photo. That led to him be recognized and apprehended.

Lombardo is a Republican challenging Democrat Sisolak in November’s race for governor.

Before this incident, Daniels was criticized for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state’s prisons. There was concern over the number of prisoners who died from the virus. NDOC employees also complained about the department’s work environment.

In 2010, Duarte-Herrera and a second suspect, Omar Rueda-Denvers, were convicted in the 2007 death of Antonio who was killed after picking up a coffee cup in the Luxor’s garage, which held a bomb. Antonio suffered several injuries in the explosion, which later proved to be fatal. The incident stemmed from a love triangle.

Duarte-Herrera and Rueda-Denvers will never be able to qualify for parole. Prosecutors initially sought the death penalty for the two defendants.

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