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Deadly Nevada prison brawl stokes mystery about guards, gunshots and 'gladiator-style' fight

  • FILE - This April 15, 2015 file photo shows guard towers at High Desert State Prison in Indian Springs, Nev., one of Nevada’s toughest prisons. Attorneys for two inmates involved in a deadly prison brawl are accusing prison guards of instigating the fight to set up a gladiator-style contest and then trying to cover it up by blaming the surviving prisoner. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

    FILE - This April 15, 2015 file photo shows guard towers at High Desert State Prison in Indian Springs, Nev., one of Nevada’s toughest prisons. Attorneys for two inmates involved in a deadly prison brawl are accusing prison guards of instigating the fight to set up a gladiator-style contest and then trying to cover it up by blaming the surviving prisoner. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This undated photo provided by the Nevada Department of Corrections shows Carlos Manuel Perez Jr., 28. The Clark County Coroner in Las Vegas said Wednesday, March 25, 2015, that Perez’s death on Nov. 12, 2014, of multiple gunshots to the head, neck, chest and arms at High Desert State Prison was a homicide.  Attorneys for the two inmates involved in a deadly prison brawl are accusing prison guards of instigating the fight to set up a gladiator-style contest and then trying to cover it up by blaming the surviving prisoner. (Nevada Department of Corrections via AP, File)

    FILE - This undated photo provided by the Nevada Department of Corrections shows Carlos Manuel Perez Jr., 28. The Clark County Coroner in Las Vegas said Wednesday, March 25, 2015, that Perez’s death on Nov. 12, 2014, of multiple gunshots to the head, neck, chest and arms at High Desert State Prison was a homicide. Attorneys for the two inmates involved in a deadly prison brawl are accusing prison guards of instigating the fight to set up a gladiator-style contest and then trying to cover it up by blaming the surviving prisoner. (Nevada Department of Corrections via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This undated file photo provided by attorney Alexis Plunkett shows Nevada state prison inmate Andrew Arevalo, 24. Attorneys for Arevalo and deceased inmate Carlos Manuel Perez Jr. are accusing prison guards of instigating a fight to set up a gladiator-style contest and then trying to cover it up by blaming the surviving prisoner. Perez died of multiple gunshots to the head, neck, chest and arms, and Arevlo was declared guilty of murder, even though he never touched a gun. (Alexis Plunkett via AP, File)

    FILE - This undated file photo provided by attorney Alexis Plunkett shows Nevada state prison inmate Andrew Arevalo, 24. Attorneys for Arevalo and deceased inmate Carlos Manuel Perez Jr. are accusing prison guards of instigating a fight to set up a gladiator-style contest and then trying to cover it up by blaming the surviving prisoner. Perez died of multiple gunshots to the head, neck, chest and arms, and Arevlo was declared guilty of murder, even though he never touched a gun. (Alexis Plunkett via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

When two handcuffed inmates at one of Nevada's toughest prisons brawled in a hallway, one ended up dead from several shotgun blasts. The other was declared guilty of murder, even though he never touched a gun.

Prison officials acknowledged the death in November with only a short statement, and for months they never mentioned that a weapon was involved or that it had been fired by a trainee guard.

Since then, the mystery of the shooting near the showers in a segregation unit at High Desert State Prison has only deepened.

Now attorneys for both inmates are accusing prison guards of instigating the fight to set up a gladiator-style contest and then trying to cover it up by blaming the surviving prisoner.

Prison officials have been slow to release details.