- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) - A local judge has scheduled a March 3 preliminary hearing to determine if a Nellis Air Force Base technical sergeant will stand trial in state court on a murder charge in the slaying of his wife.

Rickey Lee Massey Jr., 32, remained in custody and was not asked to enter a plea during his brief appearance Monday in North Las Vegas Justice Court.

Massey is jailed without bail in the slaying of Theresa Rivera, a 34-year-old mother of two, during what Massey told police was a family argument late Jan. 16.

His deputy public defender, Rafael Nones, didn’t immediately respond Monday to a message.

Air Force security officers and police on Jan. 17 found the body of Rivera, covered by a blanket behind a couch in the garage of the home on the base at Nellis.

The Clark County coroner determined she was asphyxiated.

Massey was found asleep in the house, and police say he told them that he and his wife of less than a year were getting a divorce. He later told police he took sleeping pills after a physical fight with his wife the night before.

Massey, an equipment maintenance supervisor at Nellis, deployed four times during his 13-year Air Force career, a base spokeswoman said.

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