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September 17, 2013
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Drug court dropout asks for jail, discharge

A hearing is Oct. 14 for an 18-year-old Gardnerville woman who dropped out of drug court and asked to be sentenced to jail with a dishonorable discharge from probation.

District Judge Michael Gibbons ordered Haley Marie Wasilchuk held without bail pending sentencing. Gibbons ordered a presentence report before he sentences Wasilchuk for possession of a controlled substance, heroin.

Wasilchuk’s attorney, Kris Brown, said her client asked to be placed on probation with jail time as the sole condition, then be dishonorably discharged.

She had elected a diversion program through Western Nevada Regional Drug Court, but withdrew. A bench warrant was issued for Wasilchuk after she failed to appear for the program.

“She’s voluntarily withdrawn from drug court and is giving up the diversion. She admitted using a controlled substance,” Brown said.

■ Peter Pecorilla showed up in District Court on Tuesday ready to go to prison for felony drunk driving.

He quit his job, gave up his residence, and stored all his belongings in preparation for his sentencing by District Judge Tod Young.

But Young had other ideas.

He continued the 43-year-old man’s sentencing until Oct. 15, and suggested Pecorilla carefully consider whether he wants to go to prison in lieu of a DUI diversion program.

“You are free to ask me to put you in prison, but you are not a very likely candidate for a minimum sentence,” Young said.

Pecorilla faces up to six years in prison for his third DUI conviction in seven years.

Young cited Pecorilla’s prior convictions for drug trafficking.

“Based on your history and the PSI (presentence investigation), you’ve got an uphill battle to convince me (of a minimum sentence),” Young said.

“In prison, you will be living at the expense of the people of the state of Nevada. They will pay for your meals and your clothing. When you get released, you will be wearing an ankle bracelet, required to find a job, stay sober and undergo treatment. You will be on parole at least a year. All that will happen anyway if you do go to prison, except you’re going to be a leech on the people of the state of Nevada.

“You could be working, caring for yourself, getting treatment and keeping your life up,” Young said.

DUI diversion lasts for up to three years, but keeps the defendant out of prison as long as he successfully completes the program.

Pecorilla’s attorney, Derrick Lopez said the unemployed electrical engineer, didn’t believe he was financially able to complete the diversion program.

Lopez said his client would evaluate the judge’s comments, and that he planned to address the court as to why a minimum prison sentence is appropriate if Pecorilla decides to go that route.

“You are by nature a recidivist,” Young told Pecorilla. “If you want a different life, you have a chance to change your mind.”

-- An 18-year-old Stateline man who stole an unattended taxicab was ordered Tuesday to contact the cabdriver ask how he can make amends.

District Judge Tod Young sentenced Robert Ballard Poet to 180 days in Douglas County Jail with 150 days suspended, and gave him credit for 30 days he served in custody.

While out of custody, Poet tested positive for alcohol, but claimed he unknowingly ingested it when he took a tincture called “Grandma Ed’s Echinacea Oil” and “Bach’s Rescue Remedy” following an accident he had on his longboard.

“I’ve been taking it since I was a little kid,” Poet said.

“I don’t believe you didn’t know there was alcohol in it,” Young said.

Young told Poet to get a job, but strongly recommended against a position he was considering as a host at a Stateline club.

“This idea of you working at Cabo Wabo is really dumb. The last place you need to work is at a bar,” Young said.

Poet pleaded guilty to unlawful taking of a motor vehicle.

According to reports, deputies were dispatched to a residence in the 100 block of Meadow Lane at 2:08 a.m. June 18, for a report of a stolen taxicab. The owner said he parked the vehicle at a friend’s house and thought he locked the vehicle using a remote device. Thirty minutes later he came out, and found the 2006 Mercury Grand Marquis was missing.

A few minutes later, a sheriff’s deputy reported he was attempting to stop the vehicle, but the driver failed to yield.

According to reports, the driver — identified as Poet — veered directly toward a second officer in pursuit who hit his brakes to avoid a collision.

The taxicab suffered minor damage.

Lawyer Derrick Lopez said Poet had completed residential inpatient treatment.

Young ordered Poet to be employed or in school.

“You look at what you did,” Young said. “I want you to start over. This sentence gives you a chance to hit the reset button.”

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The Record Courier Updated Sep 18, 2013 05:32PM Published Sep 17, 2013 03:36PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.