published Thursday, February 20th, 2014

2nd puppy shop arson defendant returned to Vegas

This undated photo released by the Lake County Sheriff's Department, Indiana shows Kirk Bills accused of helping a Las Vegas pet shop owner torch her store with 27 puppies inside.
This undated photo released by the Lake County Sheriff's Department, Indiana shows Kirk Bills accused of helping a Las Vegas pet shop owner torch her store with 27 puppies inside.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

LAS VEGAS — A fledgling boxer accused of trying to burn a pet shop where 27 puppies were rescued last month has been returned in custody to Las Vegas to face arson and other charges, authorities said Thursday.

Kirk Bills, 27, was booked into the Clark County jail on Wednesday to await a Friday appearance in Las Vegas Justice Court, Las Vegas police said.

Bills was arrested Feb. 7 in his hometown of Crown Point, Ind., and held in a county lockup there until his extradition to Nevada.

Bills and store owner Gloria Eun Hye Lee, 35, face felony and misdemeanor arson, conspiracy, burglary and attempted animal cruelty charges in the Jan. 27 fire at Lee's Prince and Princess pet shop.

Lee was indicted last week. She is being held on $310,000 bail at the Clark County jail pending a Monday arraignment in state court. She could face decades in prison if she is convicted. Her lawyers have said she'll plead not guilty.

Prosecutors have said Bills also might face indictment. It was unclear Thursday if he had a lawyer.

Bills lost his professional boxing debut Jan. 24 in Indio, Calif.

Authorities believe profit was the motive for the fire that damaged Lee's store and an adjacent business in a strip mall southwest of the Las Vegas Strip.

Court documents say Bills is seen on security video pouring liquid from gasoline cans and igniting it while Lee collects files and leaves.

Fire officials said sprinklers quelled flames until Clark County firefighters arrived and rescued the puppies from their cages.

The dogs have been kept since then at a local animal shelter.

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