Reno woman sent to prison

A Reno woman who refused to obey a judge's order that she stay out of Wal-Mart lost her probation Monday and was sentenced to three years in prison.

District Judge Michael Gibbons revoked probation for Melissa Longo, 27, of Reno after she was arrested Oct. 30 in connection with a shoplifting attempt at Wal-Mart by her companion.

She had been ordered by Gibbons to keep out of Wal-Mart and not to enter any store without a shopping list and money to pay for her purchase.

In addition, Longo tested positive for methamphetamine.

She'd been doing well on probation and apologized for her relapse.

"I let myself down, I let my fellowship down," Longo said. "I was really determined to complete probation, pay off my fines and fees. I had gotten my children back."

Longo was on probation from a 2005 conviction for attempting to shoplift items worth $2,000 from Wal-Mart, resulting in a lifetime ban from the store.

She said even though she had three cents in cash, she did have a debit card and a list for items for her children's Halloween costumes.

She admitted she was wrong to enter the store.

Longo blamed her boyfriend.

"He duped me into getting in there. I was taken advantage of," she said, tearfully.

Gibbons said the offense was her third probation violation.

"This violation is very similar to the other incidents," Gibbons said. "The irony is you're back in the same store. You should have never been back there."

He gave her credit for 196 days time served and waived her fees.

n An 18-year-old Roseville, Calif., teen was sentenced to three years probation after Judge Michael Gibbons described the prosecution's investigation as "shoddy."

Clemente Torres pleaded guilty to attempted grand theft in connection with a vehicle stolen in Roseville and driven to Stateline in April.

According to Torres, he was with a friend who stole the 1998 Acura Integra and drove the car to the Lake.

"The morning I was arrested, he drove us all up to Tahoe. We were up here having fun when the party got out of control. I made a bunch of stupid mistakes and bad decisions," he said.

Torres said he took the keys from his friend because "he has a tendency to disappear. He goes on these little anger trips."

Torres reportedly sped down Highway 50, ignoring traffic lights and crosswalks and endangering pedestrians and other motorists. A South Lake Tahoe police officer said Torres tried at least twice to run him off the road with the stolen car.

Unhappy with information on the case, Gibbons asked the District Attorney's office to find out Torres' alcohol test results, whether the public was endangered, and if charges were filed in California.

"There is nothing to contradict his (Torres) defense that he was so drunk he didn't see the officer," Gibbons said. "He wasn't even charged with reckless driving."

Defense attorney Tod Young said his client had earned his high school diploma, enrolled in college and had proof of attendance at Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Prosecutor Mark Jackson said the case had been handled by three attorneys in the office.

He added that Torres was guilty of probation violation by drinking and willingly going with a friend in a vehicle he knew was stolen.

Torres apologized for his behavior.

"It was me feeling invincible, that nothing could really happen to me. I made lots of mistakes that could have ruined the rest of my life," he said.

Gibbons pointed out that Torres could have hurt many people.

"Don't leave here thinking you are done with this," he said. "You have a lot of hard work to do."

He suspended a three-year prison sentence and placed Torres on three years' probation. He is to undergo substance abuse treatment and maintain weekly attendance at Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous meetings.

He is subject to random search and seizure for alcohol or evidence of stolen property.

Torres must attend DUI classes and the victim's impact panel and perform 200 hours of community service.

His driver's license is suspended for a year retroactive to June.

Torres must write an apology to the car owner and reimburse Douglas County $500 for his lawyer.


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