by Scott Neuffer

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January 29, 2013
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Ranchos man headed to prison for fourth DUI

After saying he was scared to death of prison, a 26-year-old Gardnerville Ranchos man was sentenced to at least 13 months in Nevada state prison for his fourth DUI, a category B felony under the law.

On Monday, Matthew McClintock received a sentence of four years in prison with a minimum of 13 months to be served before parole eligibility. He also must pay more than $2,000 in fines and fees, and have a 1-3-year restriction on driving privileges with the requirement to install an interlock device on his car to test for alcohol.

"I'm scared to death of going to prison," McClintock told District Court Judge Michael Gibbons on Monday. "I am not a criminal. I just have a problem with alcohol, and it's gotten the best of me."

McClintock said he has "a bad disease" that he will have to battle the rest of his life.

"You will never see me in this courtroom again," he said.

But Gibbons reminded McClintock of his three prior DUI convictions, starting with the first in April 2006. Last summer, McClintock graduated from a DUI diversion program designed to keep repeat offenders out of prison.

His latest offense occurred on Nov. 24, when he was arrested in his driveway after returning from town in his Jeep Wrangler. He failed a field sobriety test at the scene and produced a blood alcohol content of .153 percent while in custody, nearly twice the legal limit.

"You have had every intervention you possibly could have, but you're still here," Gibbons said.

The defendant's attorney, Tod Young, called McClintock "a very decent young man."

"This young man has never been in a prison environment," he said. "He is going to be living with, eating with, sleeping with, and engaging with people who are not his crowd."

Gibbons argued that drunk driving can be a violent crime.

"His family says he's a good person," he said. "But he has a drinking problem he can't control. He can't seem to stay out of a car."

Gibbons said that incarceration guarantees sobriety for least a year.

"I've seen people turn it around," he said. "There is hope."

McClintock received credit for 66 days in custody.

n Having admitted possession of a controlled substance, a former South Lake Tahoe man received a 12-30-month prison sentence to be served concurrently with an existing prison term in Kansas.

Titus Whiteside is serving 33 months in a federal penitentiary for failing to register as a sex offender, according to court proceedings on Monday.

He was arrested in August at a Stateline casino with cocaine. He later pleaded guilty to a category E felony, and he must serve a minimum of 12 months of the concurrent sentence.

In exchange for his guilty plea, the state agreed not to seek a criminal enhancement charge.

n A 22-year-old Minden resident received a suspended state prison sentence and was sent to Douglas County Jail instead after he failed to attend Western Regional Drug Court on at least two occasions.

On Monday, District Court Judge Michael Gibbons sentenced Spencer Stearns to three years in Nevada state prison, suspended, and placed him on two years probation and a year in Douglas County Jail, with 151 days already served.

The ruling stems from a 2009 incident involving heroin. At the time, Stearns pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and was allowed to participate in drug court, according to court documents.

Last year, however, two bench warrants were issued after he failed to appear at the diversion program.

Stearns said Monday that drug court wasn't working for him.

"I'm ready to have this chapter of my life behind me," he said.

Gibbons said the defendant blew his chance to dismiss a felony, but still could strive for honorable discharge from probation.

"You need to buckle down, stay clean, get a job and go to school," the judge said.

n District Court Judge Michael Gibbons issued a bench warrant for a 19-year-old Carson City man who failed to show up for sentencing on Monday.

Michael Harrell had pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, a category E felony, after being arrested on Nov. 12.

"I have not heard from my client since December," said public defender Derrick Lopez. "I don't know why he's not here."

Prosecutor Laurie Trotter said the state would be withdrawing from the plea agreement.

Gibbons set bail at $50,000, cash or bond.

n A bench warrant was issued for Markleeville resident Aaron Lundy, 53, who failed to show up for a payment hearing on Monday.

According to court documents, Lundy was convicted of felony drunk driving in 2008 and sentenced to 3-12 years in prison. The court ordered him to appear the first Monday after his release to settle $2,235 in fines.

District Court Judge Michael Gibbons issued the warrant and set bail at $1,000 cash only.

n A 30-year-old Indian Hills woman received a suspended prison sentence and up to three years probation after pleading guilty to possession of a controlled substance, a category E felony.

Candice Stone admitted having methamphetamine on Sept. 13, but she said she was not involved in selling it.

In exchange for her plea, the state dropped a more severe charge of selling a controlled substance, a category B felony.

"The court would like to see you be successful," said District Court Judge Michael Gibbons. "If you come back with probation violations, I will not go easy on you."

He also referenced Stone's three children.

"I don't know how you could put them at risk going to prison and leaving them without a mother," he said.

n A 56-year-old Markleeville woman is back in custody after being arrested over the weekend for violating bail conditions.

According to court proceedings on Monday, Adelina Osorio was among other parties in a domestic battery incident, during which officers found drug paraphernalia.

No new charges were filed against her.

Osorio has a DUI case pending in East Fork Justice Court.

In District Court, she has pleaded guilty to felony possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, in connection with a Dec. 19 incident.

Judge Michael Gibbons set sentencing in that case for April 1.

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The Record Courier Updated Jan 30, 2013 03:23PM Published Jan 29, 2013 05:29PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.