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Pizza Chain to Give $100,000 to Witness

Times Staff Writer

Domino’s Pizza officials said Monday that they will pay a $100,000 reward this week to an anonymous Las Vegas man who helped police find a fugitive South Carolina couple who were arrested Christmas morning in connection with the killings of three employees of the restaurant chain.

Company spokesman Ron Hingst said his firm will present a check Thursday to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s secret witness program. The man who spotted one of the suspects has chosen to remain anonymous, but he will be able to collect $100,000 in cash next week, Las Vegas Police Detective Nage Palmer said.

Meanwhile, attorneys for Mitchell Carlton Sims, 25, and Ruby Carol Padgett, 20, suspects in the Glendale torture slaying of Domino’s Pizza deliveryman John Steven Harrigan, 21, were granted a delay in arraignment proceedings by Glendale Municipal Court Judge J. D. Smith.

Police believe Harrigan was lured to a downtown Glendale motel room and killed on Dec. 9. Sims and Padgett, who were moved from Las Vegas to Glendale to face charges, are being held without bail pending a Jan. 13 hearing.

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Marissa Batt, Los Angeles County deputy district attorney, said Monday that she will decide whether to seek the death penalty after the preliminary hearing. The California filings against Sims and Padgett include three allegations of special circumstances--torture, lying in wait and murder during a robbery--that could qualify it as a death penalty case.

Sims and Padgett have also been charged with the attempted murder of two Glendale Domino’s restaurant employees who were held up at gunpoint the night Harrigan was killed. The suspects allegedly took $2,000 from the store and left the two employees tied up and suspended on their toes with a rope around their necks in a walk-in refrigerator.

Sims and Padgett are also suspects in the Dec. 3 robbery and slaying of two employees of a Domino’s restaurant in Hanahan, S.C., where Sims once worked.


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