Bank robbery suspect waives hearing

A 26-year-old California man, accused of robbing a Bank of America branch at gunpoint, is set to appear in District Court on Jan. 23.

Suspect Steven Simmons conditionally waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday in East Fork Justice Court.

Judge Jim EnEarl ordered Simmons to appear for arraignment in District Court on a charge of robbery with the use of a deadly weapon stemming from the Nov. 22 holdup of the Minden bank branch.

There were no injuries and Simmons, a Mammoth Lakes ski resort employee, was arrested within 45 minutes of the robbery.

His lawyer, Tod Young, said Simmons had requested additional DNA testing.

Pending those results, he may return for a preliminary hearing before EnEarl to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed on the charge.

Simmons is in Douglas County Jail on $250,000 bail.

n Probation was granted Wednesday to a 37-year-old ex-felon who admitted stealing a $204 bottle of Scotch whisky from a Gardnerville Ranchos liquor store.

David Knapp, who told Judge Jim EnEarl he had served 10 years in prison, brought a wrapped bottle of J.W. Blue Scotch to court as restitution.

According to reports, Knapp was videotaped hiding the scotch under his jacket at P.J's Liquor on Dec. 19. At one point, he looked at the video camera and was recognized by employees who said he was a regular.

Deputies also recognized Knapp from previous contacts with the sheriff's office.

In addition to the petty theft charge, Knapp also pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia from an Oct. 12, 2005, arrest.

"Why are you running around like a 17-year-old kid?" EnEarl asked. "Do you know how tired I am of you coming in here clogging this calendar with garbage?"

Knapp blamed his behavior on his prison term.

"I did 10 years in prison," he said. "They say the age you go in is the age you are when you go out."

EnEarl suspended a 180-day sentence on each charge.

"If you have one drink, one joint, one stupid theft, you're serving a year in jail," EnEarl said.

n The Douglas County Sheriff's Office reported 24 contacts for domestic violence Dec. 21-Jan. 3.

There were 19 calls for verbal domestics, four arrests for domestic battery including a juvenile and one juvenile referral to the district attorney's office for prosecution.

A total of 15 juveniles were involved in contacts including 12 juvenile witnesses, one suspect for verbal domestic, one juvenile arrest for battery on a stepfather and one referral to the district attorney for prosecution.

The Family Support Council submitted three requests to East Fork Justice Court for temporary restraining orders with two approvals and one cancellation.

Two requests were denied for anti-stalking and harassment orders.

Connie Richardson, sheriff's office domestic violence prevention coordinator, said the average range for contacts is 10-12 per week for this time of year.

The average range for children witnessing domestic violence is 7-9 per week with juvenile suspects at 0-2 per week.


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