Pair sentenced in copper tubing theft

A 39-year-old Carson City man was sentenced Monday to three years in Nevada State Prison for his part in a bungled attempt to steal copper tubing from two Gardnerville hardware stores.

District Judge Michael Gibbons told Christopher Ball he must serve 12 months before he is eligible for parole.

Codefendant Jeri Lucas, 56, was sentenced to probation.

The pair was arrested July 15 with another woman after employees at Meeks and Ace Hardware stores observed them stealing the copper tubing valued at $542. The stolen property was recovered.

"There was very little planning or sophistication in this caper," said lawyer Tod Young, representing Ball.

"He wishes he could take this whole thing back," Young said.

He said his client had a criminal history, but had been law-abiding from 2003-07.

Ball wept as Gibbons sentenced him to prison.

"I'm sorry, I'm trying to be an adult about this situation. I screwed up. I want to be with my family," Ball said.

Pointing to Ball's prior felony convictions, Gibbons warned him he faces habitual criminal status.

"Stay clean and away from people who commit crimes," Gibbons said.

Ball was charged with felony burglary.

Lucas was charged with possession of stolen property, a lesser offense.

Gibbons sentenced her to 32 months in Nevada State Prison, suspended, and placed her on three years' probation.

He ordered Lucas to perform 40 hours of community service. She must abstain from drugs and alcohol and stay away from her codefendants.

A South Lake Tahoe house cleaner was sentenced Monday to three years probation for stealing a $10,000 heirloom wedding ring from a client that he pawned for $60.

District Judge Michael Gibbons sentenced Stephen Manning, 22, to three years in Nevada State Prison, suspended, and placed him on three years probation.

He was ordered to write an apology to the victim and perform 40 hours of community service.

"I'm really sorry," Manning said. "This matter has been an eye opener. Taking something from somebody that their parents gave to them, I feel bad. I will never do it again."

The ring was returned to the owner, but the inscription " written in 1942 when her grandparents were married " had been filed off.

According to reports, Manning and his wife were employed by the victim to clean her Stateline home while she was at work. When she returned on April 25, she noticed her jewelry box had been disturbed and the ring was missing.

"You were in a position of trust and you took something of great value," Gibbons said. "I am sure the victim feels betrayed."

A 29-year-old man pleaded guilty Monday to felony possession of stolen property for grabbing a purse from a casino patron in August.

Anthony Marino pleaded guilty Monday and faces five years in Nevada State Prison and a $10,000 fine at his sentencing Nov. 24. The owner got her purse back, but a winning casino ticket was missing and her cell phone which eventually was returned.

"I stole the purse and I left the casino," Marino told District Judge Michael Gibbons. "I have a drug problem. I did it to gain more for my drug use."

A 22-year-old Gardnerville man who admitted having sex with a 13-year-old girl was sentenced Tuesday to one year in Douglas County Jail.

"I know what I did was wrong," said Ross Perusse. "I regret it every day of my life. It makes me sick what happened, what I did."

Lawyer Derrick Lopez said at first his client said he didn't want probation, but changed his mind.

"He expressed more than that," said District Judge Dave Gamble. "He said he couldn't stand probation and he couldn't make it."

Gamble sentenced Perusse to jail and gave him credit for eight days served.

Perusse pleaded guilty to statutory sexual seduction, but claimed the sex was consensual. Perusse was sentenced in August 2006 to three years in Nevada State Prison after he was kicked out of a regimental discipline program for fighting with another inmate.

He was arrested in 2005 for stealing a truck. While awaiting sentencing, Perusse was convicted of beating up a Douglas High School student whom he accused of being anti-Semitic.

A 22-year-old South Lake Tahoe woman who admitted trafficking while she was on California parole for an unrelated drug charge was sentenced Tuesday to five years probation.

District Judge Dave Gamble sentenced Rachel Santley to four years in Nevada State Prison and ordered her to successfully complete Western Regional Drug Court.

He also ordered her to stay away from her fiance who was involved in the case but never charged.

"That's a great idea," Gamble said. "Let's have two addicts get married."

He told Santley she could petition to have the no contact order lifted if her boyfriend is in recovery.

"You are a very tiny amount over the line of going to prison," Gamble said. "Being with him you are doubling the chances of failure."

Gamble said he would send Santley to prison if she violates probation.

He also ordered her to pay a $2,000 fine.

Santley's lawyer, Derrick Lopez, said his client cooperated with law enforcement "to try to improve her position with the district attorney and the Douglas County Sheriff's Office."

She never wants to give away her freedom again."

Prosecutor Laurie Trotter said Santley was arrested selling cocaine on April 25 while she was on parole for felony possession in California.

"She trafficked in our community by selling a half-gram of cocaine," Trotter said.

Trotter also said there was a question about Santley's assistance to law enforcement.

"She was not completely cooperative," Trotter said.


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