Dotty’s fatal robbery suspects used phone messages to set up attack

James Holmes (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)

Police released details Thursday about the arrest of the man who allegedly helped another man rob a Dotty’s patron prior to the manager being killed during the attacker’s escape.

On May 11, Samuel Schmid, 28, ran over Alicia Gibellina, 60, after she confronted him for stealing a woman’s purse and running from the slot tavern, according to police.

James Holmes, 54, was arrested Tuesday after police used a phone that Schmid left behind to discover messages between the two.

Holmes messaged Schmid saying “No shes white very skinny,” referring to a woman playing on a video poker machine who had won about $30,000, according to a Metropolitan Police Department arrest report.

Video surveillance from inside the Dotty’s, 6142 W. Flamingo Road showed Holmes sitting two poker machines away from the woman. At some point, he moved his car to a parking spot closer to the front of the Dotty’s and then came back inside and sat behind the woman, according to the report.

About 20 minutes before Schmid stole the purse, the report said, video captured Holmes messaging on his phone and looking at the woman and then back to his phone. He left prior to Schmid stealing the purse and running over Gibellina, the report said.

Holmes told police he saw Schmid after he ran over Gibellina and said the robbery would never have occurred if he had not told Schmid about the woman’s gambling winnings.

Holmes is due in court Tuesday and is being held without bail, Las Vegas Justice Court records show.

Contact David Wilson at dwilson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @davidwilson_RJ on Twitter.