Man sentenced to probation for incident at ex-wife’s home
February 11, 2014
A 46-year-old Las Vegas man was sentenced Monday to two years probation with a one-year suspended jail sentence after he admitted attempting to break into his ex-wife's Gardnerville Ranchos residence before they were divorced.
James Michael Seyfferle pleaded guilty to performance of an act in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property after he originally pleaded not guilty to more serious charges, and was set for trial.
District Judge Michael Gibbons ordered Seyfferle to have a substance abuse evaluation and undergo any recommended treatment and ordered random search and seizure for alcohol, controlled substances or other intoxicants.
Prosecutor Maria Pence sought a six-month jail sentence, arguing that Seyfferle was not "an upstanding citizen of Douglas County."
She said the flight attendant committed "outrageous, felonious, violent conduct" in February 2012 when he took a baseball bat to the outside of the residence.
She claimed Seyfferle's arm was inside the broken window prepared to unlock a door and gain entry when deputies arrived, called by the defendant's frightened wife.
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Originally he was charged with invasion of the home and aggravated stalking.
Seyfferle's attorney, John Ohlson of Reno, pointed out that the victims did not attend the sentencing or provide impact statements, adding they had "moved on."
Neither requested jail time for Seyfferle.
"Mr. Seyfferle has had two years to demonstrate whether he is a law-abiding person, and he has proved it," Ohlson said.
Prosecutor Maria Pence said the victims had moved on because Seyfferle had delayed the case, hiring four different attorneys.
"That doesn't take away from his ex-wife on a 911 tape. She was absolutely terrified, hiding in a back bedroom. The other victim had a loaded weapon and was waiting for the defendant," Pence said.
"You are very lucky you didn't enter the home," Gibbons said. "That individual would have shot you, and it would have been within his right. I hope you learned a tremendous lesson. When you are mixing alcohol, strong emotions and weapons, bad things happen."
Gibbons said he took into consideration that Seyfferle had no prior record, nor any criminal behavior since the incident.
The judge said that at the defendant's age of 46 it was unlikely Seyfferle would engage in criminal behavior.
He ordered Seyfferle to reimburse his ex-wife $1,180 for damage to the residence.
Seyfferle is forbidden to have contact with the victims, and must perform 50 hours of community service.