Woman may avoid prison with deferred DUI sentence

A South Lake Tahoe woman who told counselors she'd been arrested for drunken driving five times in her life was allowed to participate in a intensive treatment program instead of going to prison.

Sherrie Lynn Moore, 34, was arrested for a third driving under influence on Oct. 17 after Douglas County Alternative Sentencing Officer Doug Swalm recognized her driving down Kingsbury Grade.

She was weaving over the center line when she was stopped. Her blood alcohol content was .29, more than three times the legal limit, and she had an open container in her vehicle.

Judge Dave Gamble told Moore he had mixed feeling about allowing her into the diversion program.

"You are on the ragged edge of someone I would consider for this program," he said. "You have a truly serious alcohol addiction. You are death on the highway waiting to happen, either yours' or someone else's."

Gamble released Moore under the alternative sentencing supervision to go to treatment and put her affairs in order.

"This will be the most difficult period for you," he said. "If you use alcohol between now and inpatient treatment I will send you to prison."

-- A Gardnerville Ranchos man admitted taking a motorcycle belonging to a woman incarcerated on drug charges.

Thomas Victor Montgomery, 22, pleaded guilty to one count of grand theft in connection with the June 24 theft of a motorcycle.

"I stole a dirt bike that was in my cousin's garage," Montgomery said. "I was intoxicated one morning and I jumped on it."

Gamble may sentence Montgomery to either a felony or a gross misdemeanor. If sentenced for a felony, Montgomery faces up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine. If Gamble determines the theft is a gross misdemeanor, Montgomery faces up to one year in Douglas County jail and a $2,000 fine.

Montgomery is serving a six-month jail sentence for DUI.

Montgomery claimed he only had problems with the law when he was sober. Gamble asked him if he was sober when he put on a toilet paper tie and boutonniere to go to court.

"You are so comfortable with being in jail that you screw around before you come to court to stand in front of someone who can send you to prison," Gamble said. "Is that who you are?"

Gamble set sentencing for Jan. 22, 2008.

n A Carson City woman was sentenced to a suspended 32-month prison sentence for forging two checks from a South Lake Tahoe motel.

April Dawn Carpenter, 30, admitted to forging checks amounting to about $1,600 from the Tahoe Queen Motel and cashing them July 24, 2006 at the Lakeside Inn.

Douglas County District Judge Dave Gamble suspended the sentence for three years on Tuesday.

The owner of the motel discovered the theft four months later and reported it to South Lake Tahoe Police.

"This is the opportunity to make a change you say you want to make in your life," Gamble said.

-- A California man who owes $40,000 in back child support was returned to Douglas County after disappearing for five years.

Scott Lionel Smith, 56, appeared in Douglas County District Court after five years for failing to support his minor children.

Smith told Judge Dave Gamble he'd been in Lake Arrowhead until his arrest on the warrant issued in 2002.

Gamble set a Jan. 22, 2008, sentencing date. Smith is being held in lieu of the $40,000 he owes.


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