Judge closes out criminal calendar with thank-yous | RecordCourier.com

Judge closes out criminal calendar with thank-yous

by Sheila Gardner

Shannon Litz file photo

District Judge Dave Gamble wrapped up 25 years of hearing criminal cases Tuesday by thanking the people who have worked for him and represented clients since 1987.

Gamble’s retirement is effective Jan. 6, but his final criminal calendar was heard Tuesday since the court is closed on the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

Addressing prosecutor Laurie Trotter, defense attorney Kris Brown, law clerk John Seddon, parole and probation office Tami Matus, court reporter Kathy Jackson, court clerk Mary Biaggini, and bailiff Greg Hubbard, the judge thanked them for their service.

“You’ve done wonderful work,” Gamble said.

Trotter repaid the compliment by thanking the judge for his service to the community.

“We wish you all the best,” she said.

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His legal assistant, JoAnn Thaler, observed from the audience, and Gamble recalled how she clerked his first case in 1987.

He estimated there have been 1,300 law and motion calendars over the past 25 years.

For his final case, Gamble heard a change of plea from 27-year-old defendant Huy Phan of Union City, Calif., who was about 45 minutes late to court because of the snowy weather.

“That would be an absolutely appropriate way to end if he failed to appear,” Gamble said before Phan showed up.

“Mr. Phan, you have the ignoble recognition of being my last adult criminal case,” Gamble said. “I will remember your name. Good luck.”

Phan changed his plea to guilty in a case of battery causing substantial bodily harm. Gamble set sentencing for March 5.

Earlier in the morning, he took guilty pleas from a 63-year-old man for a third drunk driving charge, and a 32-year-old Hayward, Calif., man who admitted trying to sneak 21 Ecstasy tablets into a bachelor party at a Stateline casino night club.

The three will be sentenced by whomever Gov. Brian Sandoval appoints as Gamble’s replacement, a decision expected within 30 days.

The judge received a standing ovation as he left the bench.

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