Judge appoints lawyer for deputy

Douglas County sheriff's Deputy Jason Cypher, accused of domestic battery, stalking and drunk driving, told a judge Wednesday he was "living paycheck to paycheck" and couldn't afford a lawyer since he expected to lose his job.

Cypher, in custody in Carson City Jail on $25,000 cash bail, said he did not own his residence and owed $10,000 on his vehicle.

He said his monthly expenses include $600 in child support and $1,000 a month in child support for his wife's two sons.

"Shortly, I'll be unemployed," he told East Fork Justice Jim EnEarl.

The 15-year veteran deputy's pay scale is $44,154-$58,816 annually.

"I have maybe $50 in savings," Cypher said.

EnEarl appointed Matthew Ence to represent Cypher and set a hearing for Sept. 26.

Cypher, 37, also asked EnEarl to consider lowering his bail, calling it excessive for three misdemeanor charges.

"I know of a person who was booked for assault with a deadly weapon - a felony - and his bail is $20,000 bondable," Cypher said.

EnEarl said he wouldn't lower the bail until a representative of the Carson City District Attorney's office was present.

Douglas County District Attorney Mark Jackson turned the prosecution over to Carson City to avoid the appearance of conflict.

"The other side isn't here today," EnEarl said. "I will move up a bail hearing to Friday or Monday, but the other side must be here to get an opportunity to argue."

Cypher told the judge he was concerned about being treated fairly because he and his wife - the alleged victim - both work for the sheriff's office. He also said she was a friend of Jackson.

"It's obviously terrible no matter how you look at it, how I got here," Cypher said.

"My only concern is the way my department handled it and the DA's office. I feel there is prejudice there. Obviously, everybody knows everybody and I feel there may be some type of pressure," Cypher said.

"Do you think I would succumb to it?" EnEarl asked.

'No, sir," Cypher said.

"No one applied any pressure to me or suggested I do anything one way or another. I wouldn't succumb to any pressure, that's not me. I don't think anybody would have the audacity to approach me and apply any pressure," EnEarl said.

Douglas County Undersheriff Paul Howell said after the hearing the department had turned the case over to Carson City to avoid any appearance of conflict and that Cypher was incarcerated in Carson City Jail.

"I feel his allegations are not based on fact," Howell said. "He's not being housed here. We are not handling it other than the officers who responded to the original call and the internal investigation. He may feel that way, but it's not based on any fact."

Jackson declined to comment other than to reiterate that his office had turned prosecution over to Carson City.

Cypher is on paid administrative leave pending results of criminal and administrative investigations of the allegations.

He was arrested Sept. 14 at Ironwood Drive and Highway 395 in Minden after a witness reportedly observed him striking the victim. A criminal complaint alleges he pulled her hair and punched her numerous times.

The stalking charge states that between July 2006 and September 2007, the defendant "terrorized, frightened and intimidated her" and would check her whereabouts.

Cypher's preliminary breath test for alcohol was .161, more than twice the legal limit for driving in Nevada, according to a Nevada Highway Patrol report.

If Cypher bails out, he will be placed on house arrest under the supervision of the Department of Alternative Sentencing.

If he is convicted of domestic battery, the deputy would lose his right to use or possess a firearm under federal law.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment