Who is Justin Medof? California law student beats girlfriend to death in Las Vegas hotel room
The police found Justin Medof attempting CPR on Stephanie Duarte when they arrived but they found that she had been dead for hours
ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA: A California law student is facing murder charges for allegedly beating his girlfriend to death in a Las Vegas hotel room. Reportedly after killing his girlfriend, the man told police that he woke up and found his girlfriend's body in a 'beaten, bloody and unconscious' condition.
On July 12, police responded to a call from a Las Vegas hotel, where they found Justin Medof, 31, giving first aid to Stephanie Duarte, 30. Medof stated that the couple got into an argument the night before and he woke up the following morning to find her "beaten, bloody, and unconscious". A police report stated Duarte appeared to have died of blunt force trauma hours before. Duarte allegedly suffered fatal head trauma, while Medof had undisclosed bruises on his body. Medof had a variety of abrasions, scrapes and bruises which would appear to be consistent with defensive wounds. Medof told police that he had gotten into an argument the night before with Duarte while on Fremont Street and had left her there.
We have reported similar incidents in the past. Earlier this year, we reported the case of Emily Ikuta, a Nevada wife who shot her husband dead while he was on a live chat. We also reported the very famous case of Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell, who got indicted for the murder of her two children and Daybell's ex-wife
Video footage revealed that Medof arrived at the hotel at 2.12am. Duarte arrived at 2.25am. The motel clerk told police that Duarte asked if Medof had been looking for her and looked nervous. When asked whether he had inflicted trauma on Duarte, Medof refused to answer investigators’ questions and requested an attorney. The slain woman’s family confirmed that she had been dating Medof, a law school student at Chapman Fowler School, for a short period of time when they planned the weekend vacation in Vegas.
People who were staying in an adjacent room reported hearing noises consistent with an altercation and furniture being moved around in Medof and Duarte’s room between 2 and 3 am. Medof told officers that their hotel room was covered in blood and that he tried to bathe Duarte to wake her up. According to a report, Duarte’s body was already in rigor mortis by the time police arrived, suggesting the woman had been dead for several hours.
As Medof awaits his next court date, Duarte's family and friends are mourning her loss. Her death "was tragic and unexpected, leaving us all shocked that a beautiful, young angel would have her life cut short," wrote a close friend of Duarte's who set up a GoFundMe to help her family with funeral costs. "Stephanie was a bright spark in the world and will be deeply missed," the friend wrote. "Those of you who knew Stephanie knew how contagious her energy and ambition were. Stephanie has left lasting impressions on many of us with the pure joy and love she carried with her and she will forever be remembered in our hearts and souls." Duarte was attending the University of California San Diego with hopes of becoming a nurse, her friend wrote. The GoFundMe page raised $56,601 of $50,000 goal at the time of writing this article.