Stateline escapee admits guilt

Staff Reports

A Douglas County Jail trusty who ran away after emptying the trash last year admitted to escaping from jail and possession of stolen property.

Jose Luis Estrada Tufino, 36, entered guilty pleas to both charges on Monday during an arraignment before District Judge Michael Gibbons.

Tufino was serving a one-year jail sentence at the Stateline jail when he told Gibbons he learned of his father's death in Mexico.

He remained gone for nine months and was arrested while trying to cross the border to see his 14-year-old daughter who is having surgery in July.

"I know it was not the right decision and I apologize to the court," he said.

Tufino admitted to taking $1,140 in clothing from two stores at Harrah's.

He said he was trading the clothing for cocaine and crack. He blamed the drugs for the loss of his job, and the breakup of his marriage.

"I lost everything and was living on the streets," he said. "I didn't have any money so I started stealing. I know it's not an excuse."

Tufino also admitted to being in the country illegally. Gibbons said that means he will probably be deported.

"You have a hard luck story, but you still have to be held accountable for your actions," Gibbons said. Sentencing was set for June 4.

-- A 36-year-old Carson City woman was referred Tuesday to drug court after she pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine.

District Judge Dave Gamble told Dawn Fox if she is unsuccessful in drug court, she faces up to four years in Nevada State Prison.

She was arrested with a Sparks man who reportedly stole a truck near Cave Rock to escape from a Stateline armed robbery. According to reports, the truck ran out of gas and Fox was found sleeping in the vehicle near the Cave Rock tunnel.

Fox said she wanted to attend drug court to reunite with her family and regain her children's love.

"I've caused my family a lot of pain," she said. "I was born on drugs and have been on drugs my whole life."

Gamble said she had to take the program seriously.

"Drug court is really important," he said. "It's the best tool for people who want to quit using crank."


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