Suspect in abuse case awaits lawyer

The mother of a 14-month-old baby, accused of ignoring the child's fractured arm and leg, is to appear in East Fork Justice Court on Monday on felony child abuse charges.

Judge Jim EnEarl delayed a hearing Thursday for April Mastrian, 29, of Indian Hills, because she did not have an attorney.

Mastrian had planned to hire Carson City lawyer Joel Barber, but her mother said he hadn't returned telephone calls.

"The charges against you are serious - that seems to be an understatement," EnEarl said. "I am not implying you are guilty. I am concerned about the charges."

"So am I," Mastrian said.

She is charged with felony child abuse or neglect causing substantial bodily harm.

The suspect waived her right to a 15-day preliminary hearing at which time the prosecution would need to prove to the court there is probable cause the crime occurred and Mastrian committed it before the case could be advanced to District Court.

"You need to get an attorney," EnEarl said.

The suspect has been in Douglas County Jail on $10,000 bail since her arrest Feb. 4.

EnEarl refused to lower the bail.

According to court documents, Mastrian is accused of not reporting the injuries to her 14-month-old son that she alleged occurred Nov. 9 at the hands of her former boyfriend, a 32-year-old Carson City resident.

The baby's injuries were not treated for 10 days until an alarmed child care worker contacted the little boy's grandmother who took him to a doctor on Nov. 18.

Mastrian was charged in a criminal complaint with failing to obtain medical care for her son.

She is accused of leaving the baby, his twin sister, and two other children in the care of the man suspected of being a known methamphetamine addict.

Mastrian admitted she used methamphetamine but told investigators she was trying to quit.

The Carson City man has not been charged in the incident.

The children are in the care of Mastrian's mother.

She reportedly told investigators she didn't report the abuse because she feared for her own liability.

n A Gardnerville man accused of trafficking in methamphetamine from his Church Street residence is to appear in District Court on Feb. 21.

Juan Simental Garcia, 38, waived his right to a preliminary hearing in East Fork Justice Court on Wednesday.

He is charged with trafficking in a controlled substance, methamphetamine.

Simental was arrested in a pre-dawn raid Jan. 23.

His co-defendant, Wesley Zade Bohannon, 23, pleaded guilty last week to the charge and faces up to six years in prison at his sentencing March 27.

n An Oakland, Calif., man who admitted he was a gang member, is set for a hearing Feb. 15 on charge that he was driving without a license in an unregistered vehicle.

Carlos Rodriguez, 22, was stopped at Highway 395 and County Road on Feb. 6 by a deputy who said his car had no license plate. In addition, Rodriguez was without vehicle registration and proof of insurance.

He told Judge Jim EnEarl he was unable to obtain a driver's license because he was in the United States illegally.

Deputies found a baseball bat between the driver's seat and door and a box with 43 rounds of .44-caliber ammunition.

At first, Rodriguez told deputies he was a baseball player, but admitted he used the bat for protection.

Deputies also found a 15-inch long knife with a 10-inch blade and a cutting tool.

Prosecutor Mike McCormick said Rodriguez said he was a gang member. The suspect had a tattoo for the Southsides.

"The state is going to recommend significant jail time," McCormick said.

Rodriguez told EnEarl he lived in Reno temporarily while he worked as a roofer.


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