Best Showgirls of Vegas owner slams legal system that saw Yoni Barrios walk on domestic violence charge

Best Showgirls of Vegas owner slams legal system that saw Yoni Barrios walk on domestic violence charge
Cheryl Lawthorp (L) has started a fundraiser for her slain employee Maris Digiovanni who was killed by Yoni Barrios (inset) in Las Vegas mass stabbing (Cheryl Lowthrop/Facebook and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA: Vegas' Best Showgirls owner blasted the "flawed" criminal justice system for letting Illegal immigrant Yoni Barrios go free who murdered one of her performers in a horrifying attack on the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday, October 6. Cheryl Lowthrop expressed her shock upon learning that Maris Mareen Digiovanni, her 30-year-old employee, was one of the two victims of the stabbing on Thursday. Eight people in total, including several showgirls, were attacked. 

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The 32-year-old illegal immigrant killed Digiovanni,30, and Brent Allan Hallett, 47 as he ran down the well-known street in broad daylight while brandishing a knife. Barrios is an alleged undocumented migrant from Guatamala who attacked Digiovanni and three other coworkers as they were strolling down the Las Vegas Strip. He then attacked other people at random and told the authorities he had to "let the anger out." 

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The mass stabbing suspect Barrios might have been imprisoned on a felony charge stemming from a domestic abuse case in 2018, but the Los Angeles District Attorney's office dragged its feet in bringing the case to trial.

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According to Best Showgirls owner Lowthrop, the tragedy on Thursday was the result of a flawed criminal justice system. Digiovanni's employer said, "I think there is no doubt that our criminal justice system is deeply flawed, and most certainly in the arena of domestic violence." She added, "Beyond the obvious, that had he been convicted and or jailed we would not be in this situation... It is no surprise that we fail to protect our women inside of our legal system as well."

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Barrios was charged in July 2019 with injuring a spouse, cohabitant, or roommate in a domestic violence offense, according to a criminal complaint cited by DailyMail. The maximum penalty for those found guilty of a crime is 4 years in prison. The alleged incident occurred Aug 18, according to Barrios' criminal file. A year later, DA Lacey filed the lawsuit, but the first pretrial hearing wasn't scheduled until April 8, 2021, more than two years later. Had Barrios been tried and found guilty in a timely manner after the complaint was filed in July 2019, he could have spent up to four years in prison and would not have been free to carry out the alleged two murders and six attempted murders for which he was charged this week.

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