Man sentenced to year in prison for third drunken driving

A Minden man must serve a minimum of 12 months in Nevada State Prison before he is eligible for parole for felony driving under the influence.

Dean "Barney" Johnson, 48, told Judge Michael Gibbons on Monday he was "a rehabilitated man" since his arrest May 11, 2005, on Highway 88 near Highway 395.

His blood-alcohol content was .16, twice the legal limit for driving in Nevada.

"I'm just glad I didn't hurt anybody when I was drinking and driving," Johnson said.

He said he had been sober for nine months.

Johnson asked Gibbons if he could serve the mandatory prison sentence on house arrest. He said he had done research, visited the Nevada State Prison and realized conditions were overcrowded.

"Here's a business guy here. Do we really want to throw him in here? Can he be on house arrest? I've already spent $75,000 on this. I'm just asking if there's a way," Johnson said.

"Mr. Johnson, that's not going to happen," Gibbons said.

Under Nevada law, prison is mandatory for a third driving under the influence conviction in seven years.

Johnson had prior convictions from July, 21, 2003, and Oct. 13, 2005.

"You said you were rehabilitated. I hope you're right," Gibbons said.

"You're somebody who cannot have one drink. If you do, you'll be back to where you where. This has cost you your marriage, all that money, and now, your freedom," Gibbons said.

He also fined Johnson $2,000 as part of the 12-to-30 month sentence.

n A former employee at a rental store who admitted taking a big-screen television, stereo and a refrigerator on another person's credit card was sentenced Monday to six months in Douglas County Jail.

Pamela Mikulski, 32, blamed her prior criminal activity on drug use.

"This is the first time I can say I have nothing to do with drugs and I don't have an alcohol problem," she told District Judge Michael Gibbons.

She pleaded guilty to grand theft, admitting she took the items from the Rent-A-Center at Carson Valley Plaza.

Gibbons suspended a three-year term in Nevada State Prison and placed her on three years probation.

She is subject to search and seizure for alcohol, drugs or contraband.

She also must tell future employers of her conviction.

"You were very close to going to prison," Gibbons told her.

"You have three prior theft convictions that are not felonies. It appears to be greed. How many people need a stereo or a big-screen TV? You can't justify it because other people are doing it or because you are mad at the company."

n A California prison inmate was sentenced to seven years in Nevada State Prison for a series of burglaries at Lake Tahoe in 2001.

David Stevens, 46, was on parole from California when he committed at least seven burglaries at small businesses and churches at Lake Tahoe in May 2001.

He was returned to Soledad Prison and transported to Nevada last year.

He pleaded guilty to felony burglary.

District Judge Michael Gibbons ordered his sentence to be served concurrent to his California sentence.

Stevens must serve a minimum of 24 months on the Nevada charge.

Lawyer Tod Young said despite his record, Stevens wanted to turn his life around.

"He's done every program available to him at Soledad. He has had no write-ups. Life is very difficult at Soledad. His reluctance to go back has nothing to do with misbehavior," Young said.

Stevens said the only time he'd been written up at Soledad was for smoking in a non-smoking area.

"There's been no fighting, I go to AA meetings and I volunteer for inmates who are trying to earn their GED. I participate in sports. I use all my free time to prepare myself for when I get out. I want to salvage the rest of my life and do right," he said. "I am a different person than when I went in."


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