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‘I don’t want to see you unless you’re in a casket:’ Murdered Las Vegas mom’s family points to warning signs

In World
April 16, 2024

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The parents of a woman who was gunned down by her ex-father-in-law said a family court judge ignored warning signs.

Ashley Prince, 30, was shot and killed on April 8 and her husband, Dennis Prince, 57, who was representing her at a child custody deposition at his Las Vegas law office was also killed. Joseph Houston II, 77, an attorney who was representing his son, Dylan Houston, shot them before turning the gun on himself.

“Unfortunately, all of our fears became a reality,” Julie Page, Ashley Prince’s mother said at a press conference Monday. “For the past two years, we have felt helpless and devastated as we witnessed Ashley endure verbal and mental abuse and threats at the hands of her husband, former husband Dylan Houston.”

Dylan Houston repeatedly sent Ashley Prince threatening text messages — as many as 70 a day, according to her father Paul Page.

Page read some of those text messages:

“I don’t want to see you unless you’re in a casket.”

“I will chisel you down to a weaker and worthless sack of bones.”

“I’ll crush you in ways you don’t even comprehend.”

Paul and Julie Page said their daughter’s court battle failed her as she tried to get protections for herself and her children.

Clark County District Court Judge Bill Henderson handled the case. The 8 News Now Investigators reached out to Henderson.

“The court cannot comment due to related pending matters,” a District Court spokesperson replied via email.

Five days before the shooting, Dylan Houston, who is also an attorney, emailed Dennis Prince, “You have no idea what’s coming do you, all your cards are on the table and I haven’t played one <laughing emoji>,” according to documents the 8 News Now Investigators obtained.

The email was sent at 1:28 a.m. on April 4.

Dylan Houston appeared to refer to a surveillance report which did not cast him in a positive light, according to a source with knowledge of the child custody case.

Dylan Houston was observed excessively drinking on March 29th, according to a report from De Becker Investigations. The report noted that Dylan Houston had five drinks with three shots each over approximately four hours. Despite another individual attempting to get Dylan Houston to not drive, he got behind the wheel and swerved on the road, according to the report.

Dylan Houston was required to take breathalyzer tests before spending time with his children, according to previous court documents in the child custody case. The court battle also included a protective order against Dylan Houston in April 2022, which was extended, court records show.

Ashley Prince expressed safety concerns before Monday’s child custody deposition.

“Do you have any private security you recommend?” she texted private investigator Hal De Becker. “Dylan has a ton of guns in that house.”

On the Thursday before the shooting, Ashley Prince canceled the security after she learned her ex-husband would not be present at the deposition.

“Nothing Monday — he will not be there,” she stated.

On the afternoon of the deadly shooting, Henderson ordered that Ashley Prince’s sister should be temporarily awarded custody of the two children rather than Dylan Houston.

Henderson referred to the shooting and surveillance report from De Becker Investigations.

“Placing the parties’ minor children with Plaintiff would be detrimental to the children, and the award of custody to a nonparent is required to serve the children’s best interests, based upon the recent acts of Plaintiff’s father and Plaintiff,” Henderson wrote.

The Princes recently had a child together, friends confirmed to the 8 News Now Investigators.

Lexi Page, Ashley Prince’s sister said that the three children are with her.

Julie and Paul Page said they would continue to fight for custody of their grandchildren.

The Houston family issued a statement Monday afternoon after the press conference:

“We cannot begin to imagine the devastating sense of loss felt by the Page and Prince families. We understand their shock and anger. We, too, are shocked. None of us ever could conceive of our loving father doing something so egregiously out of character. Our hope is that through the darkness, despair and grief, we can focus on the needs of the children. That focus extends to refraining from rebuttals and public accusations. Dylan is a dedicated father and is singularly committed to the welfare of his children. We are hopeful that Dylan and his children will be together soon and we all can begin to heal.”

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