Man who destroyed three condos avoids prison sentence

A 36-year-old South Lake Tahoe man who destroyed three Stateline condominiums in a drunken rampage was sentenced Monday to a suspended 5-year prison sentence and ordered to pay nearly $20,000 restitution.

"This was just so extreme," said Judge Michael Gibbons. "It's one of the worst cases I've ever seen for destruction of property. You could well be on your way to prison, but I am taking the chance you will not drink any more."

Gibbons placed William E. Peterson on five years probation and ordered him to pay restitution at $400 a month.

He must abstain from drugs and alcohol, and complete substance abuse treatment and continue counseling.

Gibbons also ordered Peterson to perform 100 hours of community service.

Peterson apologized to the victims, one of whom was in court.

"I want to say to all the victims I am very sorry for the inconvenience and for the crime I committed. I feel I am on the way to rehabilitation. I would like to make restitution as soon as possible," he said.

Gibbons gave Peterson credit for 66 days in Douglas County Jail and 33 days at an in-patient substance abuse treatment program.

Peterson has been living in a half-way house, and "doing very well," according to his lawyer, Erik Johnson of Carson City.

Gibbons ordered Peterson to pay $8,828 to one of the victims.

Gibbons said he would hold a restitution hearing for a victim who submitted a claim for $15,813.

Peterson pleaded guilty to a felony count of home invasion.

He also got in a fight with the deputies who arrested him on Sept. 15 at the complex in the 300 block of Galaxy Lane at Stateline.

"Hopefully, this is a one-time event," Gibbons said.

"That it is, your honor," Peterson said.

n A 28-year-old Henderson man who sold 69 OxyContin tablets to an undercover informant for $3,500 was sentenced to probation Monday after his lawyer told the judge his client was entrapped.

Judge Michael Gibbons suspended a three-year sentence for Matthew Chaytor, and ordered him to serve six months in Douglas County Jail as part of his probation.

He gave Chaytor credit for 79 days served in jail and said he must perform 50 hours of community service.

Chaytor pleaded guilty to possession of controlled substance for sale.

"I want the court to understand Mr. Chaytor's version of what happened," said lawyer Derrick Lopez.

Lopez said Chaytor met the informant while both were incarcerated in Clark County Jail in Las Vegas. Lopez said the informant was working off an offense in Douglas County and offered to buy OxyContin from Chaytor for $50 a tablet.

"He (Chaytor) was on the verge of losing his home, and saw this as a way to make fast, easy money," Lopez said.

He said Chaytor traveled to Gardnerville and went to the informant's apartment with the pills. Lopez said the informant called deputies who arrested Chaytor.

Lopez also said the informant stole 30 of the tablets and some of Chaytor's personal property.

Lopez said the informant's conduct was "much worse" than Chaytor, but the defendant wanted to take responsibility for the crime.

"The way Mr. Lopez described it is very different than somebody just in the area to sell drugs," Gibbons said.

The judge said he knew the informant from previous court appearances.

"The advantage here is that I know the informant and that lessens his credibility," Gibbons said.

Chaytor said he was sorry.

"I found out I am going to be a father," he said. "It's kind of been a spiritual awakening. I have help from my family and I want to stay involved in my church. I want to stay mentally and physically healthy."

Gibbons sentenced Chaytor of 34 months in Nevada State Prison, suspended, and placed him on three years probation. Chaytor must abstain from drugs and alcohol and may not have prescription drugs without the approval of his doctor and probation officer. He must complete a substance abuse and mental health evaluation and recommended treatment.

"You can thank Derrick Lopez for being thorough and saving you from a prison sentence," Gibbons said. "Hopefully, this will be a life-changing event and turn your life around."


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