Taxpayers Funding Robbery Suspect's Makeup Artist

Judge orders cover-up of Bayzle Morgan's swastika, 'Most Wanted' tattoos
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2016 7:23 AM CDT
Taxpayers Funding Robbery Suspect's Makeup Artist
Bayzle Morgan   (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via AP)

(Newser) – Each morning this week, Bayzle Morgan will be transferred from the Clark County Detention Center to a Las Vegas courthouse where a makeup artist will spend two hours making his skin look unmarked and natural—and taxpayers are footing the bill. After numerous potential jurors said they couldn't give the robbery suspect a fair trial—one said his many tattoos "could be indicative of previous criminal acts"—District Judge Richard Scotti ordered Morgan's facial and neck tattoos be covered with makeup at a budgeted cost of $1,200 for the extent of his trial, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal. When Morgan appeared in court on Monday, a teardrop tattoo under his right eye, a swastika under his left, the words "skin" and "head" in place of his eyebrows, "Most Wanted" across his forehead, "Baby Nazi" on his neck, and an Iron Cross on the back of his head were gone.

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Other than a makeup smear on his white shirt by the afternoon, potential jurors seemed to have no indication of what the 24-year-old in front of them was hiding, reports the Review-Journal. (See a before and after here.) Jurors will eventually decide whether he is guilty of stealing a man's motorcycle at gunpoint in May 2013. He also faces the death penalty for the 2013 murder of a 75-year-old in a trial beginning next month, though it isn't clear if the judge in that case will request a makeup artist. At least one columnist is against the idea. "What's next? Taxpayer-funded face lifts and nose jobs for defendants Scotti doesn’t think are pretty or handsome enough?" Paul Harasim writes at the Review-Journal. "It is not up to the court to use taxpayer money to cover up [Morgan's] decisions." (Read more tattoos stories.)

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