Las Vegas Attorney Killed Former Daughter-In-Law, Her Husband Amid Grandchildren's Custody Dispute After Judge Ruled in Her Favor

Ashley and Dennis Prince
Ashley and Dennis Prince Facebook

A lawyer fatally shot his former daughter-in-law, as well as a fellow attorney, during a deposition at a Las Vegas law firm Monday morning, two sources familiar with the investigation said.

Ashley Prince and her husband, attorney Dennis Prince, were shot and killed at the offices of Dennis Prince Law Group, during a child custody deposition. The shooter was identified as Joe Houston II, the grandfather of the two children at the center of the dispute.

Houston was Representing His Son While Dennis was Representing His Wife

On Monday, April 8, police said they received a call of a shooting shortly after 10 a.m. at the law firm's office in Summerlin.

On Monday afternoon, LVMPD Lt. Jason Johansson said seven people were in the room during the deposition, when Houston targeted his two victims. "The suspect was not killed by police. We believe he took his own life," [LVMPD Sheriff Kevin] McMahill added.

Prince was representing his wife (who is Houston's ex-daughter-in-law), while Houston was representing his own son, Dylan, in the case. Dylan is also Ashley's ex-husband. Houston was reportedly suffering from cancer.

Judge Granted Custody to Ashley's Sister

Joe Houston II, Ashley and Dennis Prince
Joe Houston II (left) and Ashley Prince with Dennis Prince. Twitter

As reported by KTNV, In an emergency motion after the shooting, District Court Judge Bill Henderson granted custody of Dylan and Ashley's two children to Ashley's sister.

Henderson found that "placing the parties' minor children with the plaintiff (Dylan Houston) would be detrimental to the children, and the award of custody to a nonparent is required to serve the children's best interests, based on the recent acts of [Houston]'s father and [Houston.]"

"The court hereby orders the minor children are not to be in the custody of plaintiff, DYLAN E. HOUSTON, until further Order of the Court," Henderson ruled.

According to court records, the two were married in October 2017 and, after four years and two kids, Houston filed for divorce. At first, the couple split custody evenly. But in the spring of 2022, Ashley asked to modify that agreement.

As part of the proceedings, Dylan Houston had been ordered to undergo regular drug and alcohol screenings and to remain at least 100 yards away from Ashley's home, work, and parents' home.

Houston Previously Reprimanded by the State Bar of Nevada For Refusing to Pay a Refund to His Clients

Houston was previously publicly reprimanded for violating the State Bar of Nevada's professional rules of conduct, documents said. In 2021, a man hired Houston in a divorce case, documents said. Houston charged the man a $5,000 retainer and a $400-per-hour fee. The man paid the retainer in December 2021.

Between the payment and the next April, the man and his spouse decided to stay together, negating the divorce, documents said. The man later requested "an accounting of the time billed" and the remaining funds from the retainer.

Houston later told the man that "he accepted the case on a flat fee basis and that he was not willing to provide a refund," documents said. He later sent the man only a partial refund of $1,300.

In their reprimand, members of the bar said Houston failed to provide a refund until the bar sent him a letter of investigation. They wrote Joe Houston's "ethical breach caused potential injury" to the client.

The panel issued the reprimand for violating the rule of declining or terminating representation and fined Joe Houston $1,500, records said.