Man rejects plea deal in Kingsbury accident

Staff Reports

A 21-year-old man pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence causing substantial bodily harm, rejecting a plea agreement which recommended he receive the minimum sentence.

If convicted at trial, Martin Ruiz faces up to 20 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

District Judge Michael Gibbons set a three-day trial to begin Jan. 29, 2008.

Ruiz was arrested shortly after a 7 a.m. collision Jan. 26 on Kingsbury Grade.

The driver of the other vehicle injured his knee, according to lawyer Derrick Lopez. He said Ruiz wants to determine whether the injury is considered "substantial bodily harm" under the statute.

Gibbons questioned Ruiz if he understood the prosecution was going to recommend a minimum sentence of 2-5 years in Nevada State Prison under the plea agreement.

"He wants to go to trial," Lopez said of his client.

Ruin's blood-alcohol content reportedly was .104, over the legal limit of .08 for driving in Nevada.

Lopez said his client had not been drinking since the accident or driving. He gets rides from friends to his three jobs, Lopez said.

Gibbons left the conditions of house arrest in effect.

-- An 18-year-old Gardnerville man was ordered Monday to serve 30 days in Douglas County Jail and complete a drug treatment program in lieu of serving a prison term for selling marijuana in an undercover sting.

Robert L. Hamilton was also ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.

"If you fail and come back here for sentencing, you'll be facing up to five years," said District Judge Michael Gibbons.

Hamilton's lawyer, Michael Roeser, said his client sold small amounts of marijuana on two occasions, but turned down an opportunity to make a large drug sale.

"This is a young man who just made a stupid mistake," Roeser said.

He said Hamilton was not using drugs and had been in counseling.

Gibbons ordered Hamilton to have no contact with his former roommate who was arrested in the case.

He and the codefendant are responsible for $2,400 restitution, Gibbons said.

-- The Douglas County Sheriff's Office reported 27 contacts for domestic violence Sept. 5-18.

There were 18 verbal domestics, eight arrests for domestic battery including a juvenile and one referral to the district attorney's office.

Ten juveniles witnessed domestic violence, two juveniles were suspects in a verbal domestic and one juvenile was arrested for domestic battery against a parent for a total of 13 juvenile contacts.

The Family Support Council submitted 11 requests to East Fork Justice Court for temporary restraining orders with five approvals, two denials and four pending hearings.

Connie Richardson, sheriff's office domestic violence prevention coordinator, said the average range for domestic violence contacts is 16-22 per week for the time frame.

The average number of children witnessing domestic violence is 9-11 per week with juvenile suspects at 0-2 per week.


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