Arizona man who sold ammo to Las Vegas shooter pleads guilty
The Arizona man accused of selling illegally manufactured ammunition to the Route 91 Harvest festival gunman pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court, closing a chapter in the only criminal case to stem from the Las Vegas mass shooting.
Douglas Haig faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty in Las Vegas early Tuesday to one count of manufacturing ammunition without a license. A sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 19.
The Tuesday plea means Haig will avoid a Las Vegas jury trial that he and his legal team have fought from the start.
Haig’s Arizona attorney Marc Victor tried and failed in June to secure a bench trial for his client, fearing bias from potential jurors. A bench trial allows a judge, not a jury, to determine guilt. But Senior U.S. District Judge James Mahan denied the request.
When the bench trial request failed, Victor asked that Haig’s trial be held in Reno to minimize potential bias from Las Vegas jurors. That also failed.
Victor previously asked that Haig be tried in Arizona — his home state and where at least one of the sales took place — for the same reason. That request was denied as well.
Facing a Nevada jury trial, Victor in January asked that government prosecutors not be allowed to mention the Route 91 attack or the gunman when presenting their case. Mahan refused the request in part, excluding some evidence pertaining to Route 91 but noting that procedural safeguards, including jury instructions, would help “minimize the risk of prejudice.”
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