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Mental Health Check Due For Accused Las Vegas Stabber

A man accused of committing a stabbing on the Las Vegas Strip will have his mental health evaluated to determine if he is competent to stand trial. Yoni Barrios, 32, will be charged with two counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder. He is a Guatemalan citizen who investigators believe was in the U.S. illegally, the Wall Street Journal reports. Scott Coffee, a public defender, said, “The first thing we have to determine is whether he is competent to move forward.” On Thursday, showgirls who posed for tourists and others were attacked. Anna Westby said she was trying to save the life of a fellow showgirl when the attacker plunged his knife into her own back. Westby screamed for help, asking for someone to put pressure on her wound as she tried to staunch the bleeding from Maris DiGiovanni’s chest.

From her hospital bed, she gave a firsthand account of the attack that killed DiGiovanni and Brent Hallet and injured six in a video provided by her employer, Best Showgirls in Vegas. “I start losing consciousness because I’m losing so much blood and so I lay my head on Maris’s chest and I noticed that she stopped breathing,” Westby said. Since the attack, 50 or so showgirls were pulled off the Strip, said Cheryl Lowthorp, owner of Best Showgirls in Vegas. DiGiovanni, who died of a chest wound, was a 30-year-old former schoolteacher and world traveler who was “beautiful, eloquent and amazing,” said Lowthorp. The attack began after Barrios asked to take a photo with a group of four showgirls and asked if he could have his company logo in the picture. He then pulled out a knife and, “Before we could even give an answer…he stabbed Maris in the heart,” said Westby. The women fled but the man chased after them. He stabbed another woman in the back and attacked Westby, puncturing her lung. He then ran off, continuing to stab others before he was arrested.


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