by Sheila Gardner

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February 4, 2013
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Theft conviction results in prison

A 29-year-old East Valley man, who said he can't get past the guilt he feels for causing the traffic accident that killed his friend, was sentenced Monday to 34 months in prison.

District Judge Michael Gibbons ordered Jerett McAlister to serve 12 months in Nevada state prison before he is eligible for parole.

The judge sentenced him for attempted grand larceny after McAlister admitted pawning a tablet and laptop worth $1,280 stolen from a friend.

McAlister currently is serving six months in Douglas County Jail for driving under the influence of methamphetamine, a separate offense.

Gibbons ordered the prison sentence concurrent to the jail term, and gave McAlister credit for 49 days in custody on the theft charge.

McAlister was convicted of vehicular manslaughter following the July 2009 fatal traffic accident which killed 22-year-old Christopher Medina. He served six months in jail for that offense.

Prosecutor Karen Dustman pointed out that the attempted theft was McAlister's third felony conviction, and that he has had numerous violations in prior offenses.

McAlister's attorney, Jamie Henry, said her client was "in terrible pain for what he did to his friend (Medina)."

"He is not using that as an excuse," she said. "That seems to be why he is spiraling down. He is really sad about it."

She said McAlister is working 14 hours a day in the jail as a kitchen trusty which she said he enjoys.

"He is a helpful, pro-active person in the jail," she said.

Henry asked that McAlister be reinstated on probation, and said he would live with his father and pursue employment as a cook.

Dustman, requesting a prison sentence, said McAlister had completed regimental discipline and three in-patient treatment programs.

"I think he's been given every opportunity," Dustman said.

Gibbons said he felt sorry for McAlister when he read the defendant's statement, but pointed out "you had a number of offenses long before your friend was killed."

He called the traffic fatality a "terrible tragedy," but said McAlister did not deserve probation.

"I feel bad for you. I feel badly for all the people around you who are being harmed by your substance abuse," Gibbons said.

He ordered McAlister to return to court the first Monday after he is released from prison to work out restitution.

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The Record Courier Updated Feb 4, 2013 07:44PM Published Feb 4, 2013 05:32PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.