Judge won't release suspect's truck

East Fork Justice Jim EnEarl refused Wednesday to release a truck seized from a Gardnerville man as evidence in an alleged kidnapping.

Attorney William Cole, representing accused kidnapper James Kent, 54, asked that the truck seized in early November be returned to his client so he could work.

"The property was seized without a warrant," Cole said. "It's allegedly the scene of a crime. We know that. But there is nothing unique about the truck. You can have full access to it."

Even though EnEarl forbade Kent from driving, Cole said he needed the truck.

Prosecutor Laurie Trotter said the defendant allegedly committed crimes in the truck and the state continued to investigate the case.

"It is evidence," she said. "This is a very, very serious crime. The state has the duty to preserve the evidence and the crime scene. It would be premature and inappropriate to release the evidence at this time."

Cole argued if a home were the scene of a crime, the residents wouldn't be forced out.

"It's the same here. The state has had plenty of time to photograph every square centimeter of that truck. Do you need two weeks? He will give it to you," Cole said.

EnEarl denied the motion, but said Cole could bring it up at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to bind the case over to district court.

EnEarl reinforced his earlier decision that Kent not be allowed to drive. He did say the suspect could look for work, but otherwise must remain on house arrest.

According to reports, deputies were dispatched to Library Lane at 11:34 a.m. Nov. 3 on a report of a "rolling" domestic.

Witnesses said two men were in a white Chevrolet truck and the younger man, identified as Kent, was allegedly punching and pushing the 66-year-old victim.

As deputies separated the two, Caroline Mattox reportedly arrived on the scene, and kicked the victim - her estranged husband - on his left leg as he sat on the curb before she was detained.

The victim said he and Mattox were legally married, but she has been in a relationship with Kent. He said Kent and Mattox believed he stole items from a storage unit he shared with his wife in Carson City.

The man told officers when he left the library on Nov. 3, Kent's truck was blocking his vehicle. When he approached the truck, Kent reportedly threw him to the ground and said he was taking the victim to see Mattox.

The victim said he refused to go, and Kent allegedly grabbed him by the back of the neck and forced him into the truck.

He said Kent started to back the truck out of the parking lot, detaining the victim by his shirt.

The victim got the passenger side window down and stuck both feet out trying to wriggle his way to freedom.

Kent stopped the truck, according to reports, and the victim shed his shirt and escaped out the window.

By this time, personnel from the nearby East Fork Fire & Paramedic Districts and Douglas County Public Library were on the scene and separated the two.

Witnesses verified the victim's account.

Kent was charged with first-degree kidnapping, elder abuse and false imprisonment. Mattox, 49, was charged with battery that constitutes domestic violence and principal to false imprisonment.

Both suspects are out on bail.

She was in court Wednesday to answer an allegation that she tested positive for amphetamine in violation of terms of her release on bail.

She admitted taking a relative's Adderall for her attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Mattox also claimed she has been prescribed opiates for back pain.

"I'm sick, very sick," she said.

EnEarl called her "the picture of health," and warned Mattox she would be jailed if she tests positive for drugs without prescriptions.

"You've been using crank on and off since I've known you," he said.


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

Sign in to comment