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October 7, 2013
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Bench warrant issued for Dayton woman

A bench warrant was issued Monday for a 33-year-old Dayton mother of five children who failed to show up for up drug court or meet with probation officials as ordered by the court after she pleaded guilty to a drug charge.

District Judge Michael Gibbons set bail at $10,000 cash or bond for Jillianne Faye Venable who pleaded guilty in August to conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substances Act.

She was to be sentenced Monday to probation in conformance with a guilty plea agreement reached with the district attorney’s office.

In exchange for her plea in August, charges of possession of a controlled substance for sale, and trafficking in a controlled substance were to be dismissed.

Deputy District Attorney Rick Casper said Monday since Venable did not appear as promised, he considered the agreement to be breached and no longer in effect.

Venable was arrested July 18 in the Walmart parking lot at Topsy Lane after a report of a theft.

Authorities recovered multiple heroin balloons, prescription drugs, and methamphetamine from her vehicle.

Venable admitted the charges in the criminal complaint at her arraignment in August.

She told Gibbons she would begin attending drug court as soon as she is released from jail.

“I will go in drug court right away and go to meetings. I am excited to do that,” Venable said in August.

“I remember her very vividly telling me she wanted to go into drug court,” the judge said Monday.

■ A 20-year-old Gardnerville Ranchos woman admitted Monday that she failed to supervise her 2-year-old who was found wandering around the neighborhood.

Katherine Mary Hetzel pleaded guilty to child endangerment, a gross misdemeanor. She faces up to one year in Douglas County Jail and a $2,000 fine at sentencing Dec. 9.

District Judge Michael Gibbons ordered a Court-Appointed Special Advocate to represent the interests of the little girl who is in the care of family members.

The child was not harmed. Hetzel estimated she was unsupervised for about 30 minutes.

According to reports, a neighbor found the little girl clad only in a diaper on Sept. 12. She took the child to another neighbor’s house to see if anyone recognized her.

Hetzel was sitting on the couch at the neighbor’s, but did not claim the little girl was her daughter.

She told Gibbons on Monday she didn’t say anything because she was afraid she would harm the child.

Her lawyer, Jamie Henry, said her client was taking a prescribed antidepressant, and had contacted a counselor to discuss family and mental health issues.

While out of custody, Hetzel is under the supervision of Department of Alternative Sentencing and is forbidden to use drugs or alcohol. She cannot drive without proper licensing, registration and insurance.

Gibbons ordered her to cooperate with the CASA representative.

■ Probation was reinstated Monday for a 22-year-old Minden man who withdrew from drug court and admitted using alcohol more than three years after he nearly died of a heroin overdose.

District Judge Michael Gibbons extended probation for Spencer Stearns to three years, and ordered him to serve 70 additional days in Douglas County Jail bringing his total to one year in custody.

Stearns was arrested Dec. 17, 2009 when deputies were called to his house in the Johnson Lane area because of a heroin overdose.

He pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance.

Stearns was allowed to participate in Western Nevada Regional Drug Court, but withdrew after several violations and was placed on probation

He admitted Monday that he had been drinking beer, failed to report efforts to find work, and remained unemployed.

“I would like to apologize for all the dishonesty I’ve shown,” Stearns said. “I’ve been falling into all my old behaviors, and not taking it seriously.”

He told the judge after he gave up heroin, he didn’t think he was an addict. He admitted hiding from his probation officer.

Prosecutor Rick Casper and Probation Officer Clint Hall requested probation be revoked.

“It’s harder to work with someone who is dishonest, than someone with drug and alcohol issues,” Hall said. “You spend more time and money tracking them down and trying to find them.”

Gibbons said if Stearns completes the year in jail, he should be sober.

“You are doing this to yourself,” Gibbons said. “What I want to see is you drug- and alcohol-free, getting jobs and following rules.

“You’re a person whose drug use almost caused you to die. Everybody’s tried to help you. What’s different about his now?”

Stearns said he was taking his addiction seriously.

“I deeply regretted the decisions I made,” Stearns said.


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The Record Courier Updated Dec 10, 2013 01:24PM Published Oct 7, 2013 06:12PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.