Law student charged with killing his girlfriend in Las Vegas

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A true-crime story is garnering national attention, and a law school student is in the middle of it – and not in a good way.

A student from Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law in Orange, Calif., has been charged with murder after he said he woke up in a hotel room and discovered his girlfriend dead on the floor, covered in blood and beaten to death.

Justin Medof, 31, called 911 on the morning of July 12 and said that his girlfriend, 30-year-old Stephanie Duarte, was “beaten, bloody and unconscious,” according to the arrest report.

His story sank pretty quickly, apparently.

When authorities arrived, the man was found attempting CPR on the victim. He was taken to another room while the police officers and medical units continued to perform life-saving measures. Unfortunately, one officer noted that her jaw was locked and therefore could not receive mouth-to-mouth-resuscitation. The medical staff concurred and said that rigor mortis had already set in. The woman was pronounced dead at 8:37 a.m., some 20 minutes after the initial phone call.

People magazine has written about the crime. So has the Daily Mail in the UK. Las Vegas TV stations and newspapers have jumped all over it. Law school students normally end up in court in a more positive fashion, after all.

According to the police report. the couple got into an argument on Fremont Street the night before, after which Medof took an Uber back to the hotel and arrived around 2:12 a.m. Duarte arrived shortly afterward, and the night auditor at the hotel said she appeared nervous and loitered for a few minutes before taking the elevator to the room. Neighboring guests said that they were woken up between 2 and 3 a.m. by what sounded like moving furniture and a man and woman fighting. In the morning, the police observed red marks and abrasions on Medof’s right rib cage, back, shoulders, knees, and right foot.

Duarte’s body was found naked on the floor next to the bed, which was soaked with blood through the mattress and sheets. Cuts and scrapes covered her arms, legs, and face, and her eyes were swollen shut. Medof is accused of hitting her with a clothing iron. He is scheduled to appear in court on August 2.

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