- Associated Press - Friday, March 13, 2015

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A weeping relative denounced a 22-year-old Henderson man as a murderer as he was hustled out of a courtroom Friday after a judge ordered him held on $4 million bail pending a preliminary hearing of evidence in a high-speed crash that killed two teenage women.

The Las Vegas judge called the case a travesty.

Other family members tried to calm the woman as uniformed court officers surrounded them and ushered them all out of the downtown Clark County Regional Justice Center.

“You murderer!” the woman said. “Look at me! You killed my niece! I want you to see my face!”

Seong Mo Lee’s blood-alcohol percentage was more than twice the legal limit, prosecutor Brian Rutledge told Justice of the Peace Suzan Baucum. A vehicle computer showed the Mercedes sedan Lee was driving was going 117 mph in a 45-mph zone when it slammed into a Nissan Versa making a slow U-turn about 1:30 a.m. March 5.

Kamesha J’Nyah Gilmore, 17, and Gabriell Thomas, 18, were killed as the Nissan rolled over and was pushed more than 100 yards down busy Boulder Highway, authorities said.

“He had the pedal all the way to the floor, and he kills these two young girls,” Rutledge said as he argued for what he acknowledged was extraordinarily high bail.

Rutledge said he was concerned that Lee would flee the country to avoid the possible 40 years in prison he could face if he’s convicted.

Lee’s attorney, Cinema Greenberg, told the judge Lee is from South Korea, has been living with his parents in Las Vegas for the last eight years and is not a U.S. citizen.

Baucum, who on Monday revoked Lee’s release without bail on a previous misdemeanor drunk driving case, set bail at $2 million on each of the two new felony charges of driving under the influence causing death. The judge scheduled an April 20 preliminary hearing to determine if Lee should face trial in state court.

“This case is a travesty,” Baucum said from the bench, “not only for the families of these two young girls, but for his family and this community.”

Lee stood in shackles and didn’t enter a plea.

Greenberg told the judge that nothing had been proved pending an airing of evidence in both cases.

After the courtroom outburst, Greenberg told The Associated Press he knew that Lee would want to express condolences to the girls’ family members. The attorney declined to talk about the case.

Records show the previous DUI charge stemmed from Lee’s arrest just after dawn July 3 with what a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper reported was an open container of alcohol and a marijuana pipe in a Toyota Rav4 that the trooper said smelled like alcohol and pot. The trooper also charged Lee with using a cellphone while driving.

Rutledge said Friday that Lee’s blood-alcohol level in the July case was just under 0.15 percent - well above the Nevada state limit of 0.08 percent.

The prosecutor said Lee’s blood-alcohol level was measured after the March 5 crash at just under 0.17 percent.

Witnesses told police that Lee was driving the Mercedes “like a lunatic,” Rutledge said, and weaving through traffic before the fatal crash.

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