A Las Vegas attorney, recently charged with writing $400,000 in bad checks, told police in 2017 that he used cocaine with a woman who died of a drug overdose.
He also acknowledged that he never called authorities to report her death, according to police records.
Attorney Brian Padgett, 47, told Henderson police in a recorded interview that he consumed “a little” cocaine with Catherine “Katie” Howard, 38, of Henderson on the morning of June 25, 2017, at a home on Moyer Drive.
Padgett said he later found Howard dead in her bedroom. The Clark County coroner’s office ultimately ruled Howard’s death an accidental overdose due to heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine intoxication.
Henderson police asked Padgett why he did not call authorities after discovering the woman’s lifeless body.
“Obviously, I guess I should have,” the attorney responded in an audio recording of the interview.
Padgett was not arrested or charged with wrongdoing in the death — a fact that has frustrated Howard’s family. Henderson police described the matter as “non-criminal” in an incident report.
In a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Monday, the Police Department cited a Nevada law that went into effect in July. Under the law, a person who provides drugs that cause another person’s death can be charged with murder.
However, police said, “there were no applicable offenses to charge Mr. Padgett with” at the time of Howard’s death.
Howard’s sister, Denise Levesque, of Santa Monica, California, said police told her it is not a crime in Nevada if someone fails to call 911 for an individual in medical distress.
“We’ll never know if she could have survived that event had he called 911,” Levesque said.
Padgett’s attorney, Garrett Ogata, did not respond to a request for comment for this story. A message left for Padgett