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Woman Accused In Killing Of Her Husband And A Professor Deemed Incompetent For Trial

Rita Colon fled to Peru following the death of Leroy Pelton after trying to gain access to more than $1 million in the former UNLV professor's retirement fund.

By The Associated Press
Digital Original
Judge: Woman Accused In 2 Deaths Incompetent For Trial
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A Clark County judge has found a woman accused of killing her husband in 2005 and a former college professor five years ago is incompetent to stand trial.

Rita Colon, 46, was ordered Friday to be held at a state-run maximum-security psychiatric facility until doctors determine she is fit to stand trial.

Colon fled to Peru after the death of former University of Nevada, Las Vegas, professor Leroy Pelton, 77. He was found dead in his Henderson home about a month after he died. Grand jury transcripts obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal show he had been stabbed repeatedly in the abdomen and neck.

Colon tried to gain access to more than $1 million in Pelton’s retirement fund before suddenly moving to Peru with her mother and young daughter, according to testimony heard by the grand jury.

Colon was arrested in Peru in December 2017. After her former brother-in-law, Luis Colon, learned of the arrest, he called Las Vegas detectives about similarities between Pelton’s death and that of her first husband. Edwin Colon died in 2005 of a stab wound to the neck that was ruled a suicide.

Edwin Colon’s family never believed he killed himself, Luis Colon previously told the Review-Journal.

The Clark County coroner’s office changed Edwin Colon’s manner of death from suicide to “undetermined,” and in August 2019 Rita Colon was charged with murder in the death of her former husband.

Rita Colon had told investigators that her husband killed himself during an argument. North Las Vegas detectives who re-examined the case in 2019 came to believe it was a homicide.

She has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors agreed to not seek the death penalty as a condition of Rita Colon’s extradition from Peru.

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