Judge denies request for new trial

District Judge Dave Gamble ruled Thursday that lawyer Terri Roeser provided effective counsel to Trevor Clark, sentenced in 2005 to 20 years in Nevada State Prison for a traffic accident which killed the defendant's girl friend.

"I am not unaware of how long this sentence is," Gamble told Clark at the conclusion of a 2-1/2 hour hearing. "I pray the radical change you appear to making now will continue and your life will be just as you wish it to be."

Clark, 25, must serve a minimum of four more years before he is eligible for parole.

He is in custody at Warm Springs Correctional Center in Carson City.

In December 2005, he pleaded no contest to driving with a prohibited amount of controlled substance in his blood causing death.

He and Tracy Fein, 22, were on their way from Simi Valley, Calif., to the Burning Man festival when the accident occurred at 11:45 p.m. Aug. 27, 2005, south of Gardnerville on Highway 395 near Ray May Way.

Toxicology reports indicated Clark and Fein had ingested marijuana and Ecstasy.

Clark was driving and Fein was asleep and not wearing a seat belt.

His lawyer, Marc Picker of Reno, claimed at the hearing Thursday that Roeser failed to take a number of steps which would have benefited her client.

He said Roeser should have attended her client's interview with state parole and probation officials, provided witnesses to testify on his behalf at his sentencing and stopped him from submitting a 12-page letter to Gamble which Picker described as a "diatribe."

"A defense attorney needs to think of all those things," Picker said. "She didn't protect her client."

Clark testified Thursday as did his father, aunt and brother, all of whom would have spoken on his behalf at the sentencing, Picker said.

"Three witnesses were prepared to testify to tell you more about the human being named Trevor Clark than the defendant named Trevor Clark," Picker told Gamble.

Called to testify Thursday, Roeser said she asked her client if he had anyone he wanted to testify and he answered no. She said she reviewed his letter several times and had him make changes, but that he was "a prolific writer" and she did not see the final version he sent to Gamble.

She said it was her experience that lawyers were not present when their clients were interviewed by parole and probation, a practice that was backed up by Gamble.

Picker said he's probably attended 20 such interviews with his clients.

Prosecutor Kris Brown said nothing that Clark's family said about the defendant Thursday differed from letters they submitted to Gamble prior to sentencing in 2005.

Picker said Roeser failed to prepare herself to rebut the Fein family's emotional victim impact statement submitted at the sentencing.

The Feins spoke for two hours about their daughter and displayed pictures, toys, even a childhood Teddy bear which contained her ashes.

Gamble said Thursday he viewed their testimony as catharsis.

"There was more than one reason which I allowed it," he said.

"First of all, they were entitled to it, and second, it was so the family of a dead girl would have some kind of cathartic event, an emotional release. It was not used in any way by me at sentencing," he said.

Gamble said he would have viewed the Clarks' testimony the same way.

"I got a great deal out of the letters," he said. "Everything you said today supported my conclusion that Mr. Clark was acting toward his bent then: Lawlessness. Nothing in the oral presentation today would have added to the mix on behalf of Mr. Clark."

Gamble said he based his sentence on what "I felt to be Mr. Clark's interior lack of remorse and interior blame-shifting."

"It was a horrid consequence of a lawless act," Gamble said.

Clark's appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court previously was denied.


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