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March 8, 2013
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Drunk driver sent to prison for 10 years

A 49-year-old man with multiple drunk driving convictions was sentenced Monday to 10 years in Nevada state prison for his most recent offense.

District Judge Michael Gibbons ordered Richard James Sargent to serve 26 months before he is eligible for parole.

"You're fortunate it is not worse than that," Gibbons said. "You probably have several more that are not reflected in the report. I am going to ask Parole and Probation for an amended report. You don't appear to understand how much you endangered people."

Gibbons pointed out that in Sargent's last arrest, Sept. 11, 2012, witnesses called 911 about his erratic driving and waited for the Nevada Highway Patrol so they could give their statements.

He declined Sargent's request that he be given a month to report to prison to put his affairs in order.

"I'm surprised you're out on bail right now," Gibbons said. "I am not going to take the chance."

Sargent has two prior felony DUI convictions in Iowa, and Gibbons said he believed there were more.

He researched Sargent's record as far back as 1986, and came up with missing priors.

"It's possible there are three or four more," the judge said.

Sargent's lawyer, Jamie Henry, said prior to her client's arrest in September, his previous DUI was 16 years ago. In Nevada, any subsequent felony DUI is punishable by 2-15 years in prison and a fine of $2,000-$5,000. Since Sargent has already been convicted of a felony, he was ineligible for diversion.

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The Record Courier Updated Mar 8, 2013 01:51PM Published Mar 8, 2013 01:49PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.