By Collette Bender
The alleged perpetrator of a brutal sexual assault and a deadly home invasion says he does not deny committing any crimes, only that he does not remember committing them. A partially-redacted police report tells the tale that the suspect himself could not.
Bryan Clay, 22, of Las Vegas, was picked up on April 27, by police who found him sleeping in his mother’s house. According to the police report, Latasha White, Clay’s mother, said she “knew police were looking for her son” and wanted them to retrieve him from her home. When detectives took Clay into custody and questioned him about the attacks, he claimed to have been doing drugs the night before the crimes took place, and that the evidence he was presented with must mean that he did, in fact, commit the offenses.
The offenses in question are the attacks which took place on April 15 against an unidentified woman walking in North Las Vegas and the bloody attacks that caused the deaths of Ignacia “Yadira” Martinez, 38, and her 10-year old daughter Karla and left their husband and father, Arturo Martinez, 39, in critical condition and unable to communicate.
This case began at about 2:00 a.m. on April 15, when a 50-year old woman was walking near Tonopah Drive and Vegas Drive and called 911 to report a black male following her. The woman was so frightened she picked up a rock to use to defend herself. The man dragged the woman into the desert where he sexually assaulted her, and began beating and choking her. As authorities arrived, the suspect took flight. He had stolen the woman’s cell phone, but he had also left something behind: a Cleveland Indians hat and spots of blood on his victim’s jacket from where she had struck him with the rock.
The following morning, on Monday April 16, a nine-year-old boy went to school and reported to Hoggard Elementary school employees that his father had “2 holes in his head, was acting strange, and there was blood” all over his house, according to police. Concerned school officials contacted police, who discovered the boy’s mother and sister, Ignacia and Karla Martinez, dead in their Robin Street home, and father Arturo grievously wounded. For reasons unknown, the perpetrator did not harm the schoolchild, nor his four-year old brother. At the scene, police collected a red, white, and blue Ecko brand jacket, a black t-shirt, and a thumb print.
Autopsies indicated the victims had been struck on the head with a blunt object, which caused their deaths. The perpetrator had sexually assaulted the victims, and his DNA was found on their bodies. Arturo Martinez had also been struck in the head with a blunt object, and suffered multiple fractures of the skull.
The two cases were senseless, random attacks on citizens by a stranger. He would not, however, remain a stranger for long.
As police investigated the call history of the sexual assault victim’s cell phone, they noticed several calls made in the hours after the phone had been stolen. The parties who had been called identified the caller as Bryan “Junior” Clay, also known as “King Junior” on the social networking site, Facebook. Clay was known to use multiple phone numbers to call his friends, as he did not have his own phone. A Facebook profile photo was similar to a police photo on file for Bryan Devonte Clay, who was wanted for felony child abuse.
When Clay was taken in for questioning, he initially denied any knowledge of the sexual attack and stolen cell phone, claiming he “did not take nothing from nobody. I did not steal no phones.” Under further questioning, he admitted to having been drinking and doing drugs, including Ecstasy and PCP. Clay claimed he woke up the next morning with no memory of the previous night, and that the cell phone was simply next to him when he awoke. Undeterred, detectives pressed him about the phone calls he allegedly made, to which he replied that the calls were to people he would readily contact when frightened or in trouble.
From that point on, Clay no longer denied involvement in the April 15 crime spree. The Cleveland Indians hat and the Ecko jacket, he said, did not belong to him but he admitted to having been wearing them. Under further questioning, Clay continued to deny having any memory of the crimes, at the same time stating that the evidence detectives had laid out indicated that he had indeed been the perpetrator of the attacks.
Clay praised the professionalism of the detectives, according to the report, and said he wished they had killed him instead of taking him into custody.
The night of his arrest, Clay’s left thumb print was matched to the one found at the Martinez home, and DNA samples collected from him were matched to samples found on the bodies of Ignacia and Karla Martinez, as well as the blood on the jacket of the sexual assault victim.
Clay is facing 11 sets of charges. In the Martinez attacks he is charged with 2 counts of murder with a deadly weapon, sexual assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of sexual assault on a victim under 14, attempted murder with a deadly weapon, and burglary. In the sexual assault case, he faces charges of attempted murder, sexual assault, kidnapping with intent to commit a felony, and robbery. He is being held at the Clark County Detention Center without bail, pending a hearing.