Woman sent to prison for probation violations
April 30, 2013
A 26-year-old Stateline woman was sent to prison Monday after she failed to complete Western Nevada Regional Drug Court.
District Judge Michael Gibbons sentenced Amber Pyne to 34 months in Nevada state prison with credit for 135 days in custody.
She must serve a minimum of 12 months before she is eligible for parole on a forgery charge. She admitted forging checks totaling $220 on the victim's account.
Pyne's attorney Kris Brown said her client's criminal history coincided with her use of heroin. Brown said she used the money to buy drugs and was on the run to Arizona after she absconded from drug court.
Brown said Pyne had been taking care of her fiancé in Arizona who supported her drug-free lifestyle. She said Pyne maintained her sobriety and was attending 12-step meetings.
The victim testified that Pyne's crime forced her to close her account and "to start all over again."
She said she didn't want Pyne to go to prison, but was concerned about her heroin addiction.
Prosecutor Maria Pence said Pyne had been given opportunities for treatment.
"I think she showed up once, and left the in-patient treatment program," Pence said. "The state believes incarceration might be actually better for everyone."
Pyne said when she was in drug court, she wasn't ready to be clean. She admitted walking away from the treatment center.
"I just wanted to get away from everything," she said.
"I've worked really, really hard to change my life," Pyne said.
Gibbons urged Pyne to take advantage of treatment and education programs in prison. He denied her request to serve her sentence in Douglas County Jail.
"This doesn't have to ruin your life," he said.
■ A 19-year-old California man pleaded guilty Tuesday to unlawful contact with a child, admitting he had sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl.
In exchange for the guilty plea from Luis Alberto Silla Gonzalez, the state dropped a more serious charge of statutory sexual seduction.
The lesser plea takes into consideration the age difference between the victim and the suspect at the time of the offense, Nov. 22-Dec. 6, 2012.
Both sides are free to argue at the sentencing June 25. Gonzalez will not be required to register as a sex offender and is eligible for probation.
He faces up to one year in Douglas County Jail and a $2,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint, the defendant's actions caused the victim "to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated or harassed."
■ A 19-year-old transient, who failed to complete any terms of probation after he admitted stealing $3,500 from a relative, was ordered Tuesday to spend six months in Douglas County Jail.
Senior Judge Charles McGee, filling in for Judge Tod Young, told Matthew Ball in addition to jail, he was to complete a Salvation Army in-patient treatment program and earn his high school diploma equivalent.
If Ball fails any conditions, McGee said he would likely go to the regimental discipline program operated by the Nevada Department of Corrections, and designed to keep youthful offenders out of prison.
Ball admitted that after he was sentenced last October, and allowed to move to Red Bluff, Calif., to live with relatives, he never showed up and began using methamphetamine and marijuana.
He also failed to pay restitution, supervision fees or check in with his probation officer.
Court documents indicate he was living in a trailer next to a suspected drug house. He was entitled to adult foster care funds, but failed to contact his caseworker in California.
Ball was arrested in March and returned to Douglas County.
Ball told the judge his mother was murdered when he was a young child, and he began using drugs before he was 10.
Ball's attorney, Derrick Lopez, recommended the jail sentence and the Salvation Army program which runs from six to 18 months, because it would give Ball a place to live as he deals with his addictions.
"His goal is to become sober," Lopez said.
The victim contacted deputies in June, 2012, to report she believed Ball took $3,500 from a home safe.
She said Ball came from a foster home in California, and had been living with her and her boyfriend, the suspect's brother, at their Gardnerville Ranchos residence.
McGee told Ball he believed the defendant was "uncommonly smart."
"You make or break your own life," McGee said. "I think you have the right stuff if you ever get off marijuana and methamphetamine."