A friend of the undocumented migrant accused of stabbing eight and killing two Vegas showgirls in Las Vegas has revealed that the killer was a stripper in his own right.
An anonymous ‘former friend’ of Yoni Barrios, 32, is speaking out after he was charged with two counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder for his deadly rampage on the Las Vegas Strip.
He claims that Barrios largely was transient, having never ‘held down a regular job’ despite his extravagant-looking social media presence and he even occasionally worked as a stripper in gay bars in both Los Angeles and Vegas.
The ex-friend said that Barrios would lead on both women and men – despite being straight, they believe – in an attempt to get money out of whomever wanted his affections.
They pointed out that he would work whatever jobs he could get and that Barrios enjoyed projecting a partying lifestyle, according to the New York Post.
A friend of the undocumented migrant accused of stabbing eight and killing two Vegas showgirls in Las Vegas has revealed that the killer was a stripper in his own right
An anonymous ‘former friend’ of Yoni Barrios, 32, is speaking out after he was charged with two counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder for his deadly rampage on the Las Vegas Strip
He claims that Barrios largely was transient, having never ‘held down a regular job’ despite his extravagant-looking social media presence and he even occasionally worked as a stripper in gay bars in both Los Angeles and Vegas
The ex-friend said that Barrios would lead on both women and men – despite being straight, they believe – in an attempt to get money out of whomever wanted his affections
Court documents exclusively obtained by DailyMail.com reveal that Barrios was charged in 2019 with criminal domestic violence by Los Angeles district attorney Jackie Lacey, who has since left office.
It’s unclear if Barrios was using his victim for money.
Had he been convicted, Barrios would likely have been imprisoned and deported and would not have been free to commit the senseless slaughter on the Vegas strip this week.
But Lacey’s office failed to bring the case to court in time, and after 90 days elapsed the judge was forced to dismiss the case under California speedy trial laws, court records say.
Barrios was also prosecuted for driving dangerously and without a license in Riverside, California in 2016.
Yoni Christian Barrios, 32, who is charged with murdering two and attempting to kill six more on Thursday, could have been incarcerated if not for the failings of LA DA Jackie Lacey’s office
Lacey (above), who has since left office, waited over a year to prosecute Barrios, whose case finally went to court last year but was thrown out for violating the state’s speedy trial laws
Maris Mareen Digiovanni, 30, (pictured) was stabbed to death in the broad daylight attack, which also claimed the life of Brent Allan Hallett, 47
After his arrest on Thursday Barrios told detectives he was from Guatemala and wanted ICE to take him home, according to a report released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD).
Sources at the Department of Homeland Security told Fox News they believed he is an undocumented migrant, and does not have a visa.
A criminal docket for Barrios obtained by DailyMail.com shows he was charged in July 2019 with criminally injuring a spouse, cohabitant or fellow parent in an act of domestic violence.
If charged as a felony, perpetrators can be sentenced to up to four years in prison.
Barrios’ docket says the alleged incident occurred on August 18, 2018.
Lacey filed the case a year later, but the first pre-trial hearing was left until more than two years later on April 8 2021.
The court documents say Barrios pleaded not guilty and the case went to trial, but was dismissed the same day by the judge because it had languished in the court system for too long.
The docket at LA Superior Court cites California Penal Codes 1381, 1381.5 and 1382 for the case’s dismissal.
According to these codes California Penal Code, prosecutors must bring a case to trial within 60 days of filing an indictment for a felony.
‘The court, unless good cause to the contrary is shown, shall order the action to be dismissed in the following cases… In a felony case, when a defendant is not brought to trial within 60 days of the defendant’s arraignment,’ PC 1382 says.
If Barrios had been put on trial promptly after the case was filed in July 2019 and convicted, he could have faced up to four years in prison, and would not have been free to commit the alleged two murders and six attempted murders with which he was charged this week.
Despite the docket information, a Los Angeles DA union executive denied Lacey’s office ‘fail[ed] to bring him to trial’.
Eric Siddall, Vice President of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys, told DailyMail.com: ‘If the case was thrown out by the judge, it was probably because of witness issues’.
Barrios, pictured Friday, faced domestic violence charges that could have left him in jail for four years, unable to commit Thursday’s brutal attack
The US Immigration and Nationality Act also lists a domestic violence conviction as one of the key criteria for the deportation of an illegal immigrant.
During her tenure as LA DA from 2012 to 2020, Lacey styled herself as tough on crime and even pursued death penalty cases in the face of a moratorium from Governor Gavin Newsom.
But she came under fire from justice campaigners for her delay in prosecuting some prominent figures including West Hollywood Democrat donor Ed Buck, who injected multiple male sex workers with lethal doses of drugs at his apartment.
She was also criticized by the Black Lives Matter movement for failing to prosecute police officer Clifford Proctor for shooting dead Brendon Glenn, despite a recommendation from former LAPD chief Charlie Beck.
Barrios has another criminal record in Riverside, east of Los Angeles. In April 2016 he was caught speeding and driving without a license.
He was given a citation and paid a fine.
According to his LVMPD arrest report, Barrios lived in Los Angeles and traveled to Vegas on Tuesday to stay with a friend, but when they reneged on the offer he headed to the strip and ended up attacking a group of showgirls to ‘let the anger out’.
Anna Westby, 26, (above) recalled the moment her coworker at Best Showgirls in Vegas, Maris Mareen Digiovanni, 30, died in her arms during Thursday’s stabbing attack
Digiovanni, who was also a teacher, was fatally stabbed in the heart. Pictured: Digiovanni (left) in her showgirls costume on the Vegas strip
One of the victims was Maris Digiovanni, 30, Westby’s coworker at Best Showgirls in Vegas, who died in her friend, Anna Westby’s, hands after they were approached by Barrios.
‘He pulled up a knife and he showed it to us as if modeling it,’ she told the New York Post. ‘Before we could say anything at all. He grabbed the knife and he stabbed Maris in the heart,’ she said.
The moment was so shocking to Westby, 26, that she didn’t even have time to worry about herself as she tried to apply pressure to Digiovanni’s wound.
‘And another guy said, ‘Ma’am, you have a stab wound on your back.’ I said, ‘I know.’ Can you grab your shirt and apply it to my back while I apply this to her?’
After stabbing Digiovanni in the heart, Westby said the man slashed a fellow showgirl, Victoria Caytano. Westby said she and Digiovanni tried to run, but to no avail.
‘Maris made it only about 15 feet before she collapsed,’ Westby told the Post. ‘And he came after me and stabbed me in the back, and he ran off.’
The showgirl’s boss, Cheryl Lowthrop, said her employees are still reeling over the incident as they mourned Digiovanni, who also worked as an elementary school teacher.
Lowthorp has started a GoFundMe page to help her employees impacted by the tragedy and to cover funeral expenses and other costs for Digiovanni’s family.
Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Harmony Letizia set a Jan. 12 hearing to determine if Barrios will face trial in state court on charges that could have him confronting a possible death penalty, and ordered him to remain jailed without bail. A grand jury could indict Barrios before that time.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson has said prosecutors will decide in coming weeks whether to seek the death penalty in the case.