March 28 preliminary set in Toler shooting |

March 28 preliminary set in Toler shooting

Staff Reports

Nicole Followill appears before Judge Tom Perkins in a video arraignment two days after the Dec. 2 shooting in East Fork Justice Court.

A preliminary hearing is March 28 in East Fork Justice Court for Nicole Followill, 29, facing a charge of open murder in the December shooting death of her roommate.

Followill has been held in Douglas County Jail on $1 million bail since the Dec. 2, 2013, shooting death of Jason Richard Thrift, 33.

A coroner's inquest in January determined that Thrift died by criminal means, and not by justifiable homicide as the defendant claimed.

An open murder charge allows a jury to determine the degree. Jurors would be instructed on first-degree, second-degree, voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.

Followill reportedly admitted to investigators that she shot Thrift, but said he had been beating her. She appeared at her arraignment with a black eye and bruises.

The incident took place in a home in the 1300 block of Toler Lane in Gardnerville that the couple was renting.

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Followill was in the process of kicking Thrift out of the house when the shooting occurred. He died of a single gunshot wound to the head.

In her videotaped interview, Followill said Dec. 2 was the fourth time Thrift had beaten her since he moved into the house in July.

She claimed they had been arguing over finances. Followill said Thrift, a Marine veteran of the war in Iraq, was unemployed but received monthly disability.

On the day he died, she said they had fought early in the morning; he went for a walk, and within an hour, she called a locksmith and had the doors rekeyed.

When he came home, she had thrown all his possessions on the front lawn and ordered him out.

She said he repeatedly threatened to kill her, and she shot him once in the forehead with a 9 mm Glock handgun as he came at her.

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