- Associated Press - Monday, September 16, 2019

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) - A lawyer for a 21-year-old graduate student accused of killing his undergraduate ex-girlfriend asked a judge in North Las Vegas on Monday to prohibit police from talking about evidence in the case.

Giovanni Ruiz’s defense attorney, Gabriel Grasso, complained in a court filing Monday that North Las Vegas police officers have attended candlelight vigils for Paula Marie Davis, 19, and have shared details of the case that could make it difficult for Ruiz to get a fair trial.

“This case is in the preliminary stages and police, who are agents of the state, should not be leaking or outright divulging facts about the investigation,” Grasso wrote.

The attorney said he also feared that media coverage could “incite violence” against Ruiz or his family.

Justice of the Peace Chris Lee set a Sept. 24 hearing on the request for a gag order.

Ruiz was arrested Sept. 10 and remains jailed without bail on a murder charge in the shooting death of Davis, a University of Nevada, Las Vegas economics student.

Her body was found Sept. 6 in her family’s van at a North Las Vegas park, police said.

She was shot twice in the head, the Clark County coroner said.

Davis family members told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Ruiz was a UNLV graduate student who dated Davis for several months before breaking up with him a few days before she was killed.

Davis told family members that Ruiz was possessive and jealous, according to a police arrest report. It said detectives found a handgun in Ruiz’s home following his arrest, and a receipt showing he bought the weapon days before Davis was killed.

In court, Grasso said Ruiz was a UNLV graduate who worked part-time as an accountant, the Review-Journal reported.

Grasso told the newspaper outside court that it was too early to comment about the case.

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