Man gets probation in attempted extortion

A 55-year-old man who admitted taking the law into his own hands in a dispute with his girlfriend's ex-husband was sentenced to probation Tuesday and ordered to undergo anger management counseling.

District Judge Dave Gamble sentenced James Kent, of Gardnerville to 32 months in Nevada State Prison, suspended, and placed him on three years' probation. Kent pleaded guilty to attempted extortion in a plea agreement in the alleged kidnapping of the 66-year-old victim.

"But for this plea agreement, you exposed yourself to spending the rest of your life in prison," Gamble said.

Originally, Kent was charged with first-degree kidnapping, false imprisonment and elder abuse.

According to reports, deputies were dispatched to Library Lane in Minden 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 and refused to let him out of his truck.

As deputies separated the two, Caroline Mattox, 48, reportedly arrived on the scene, and kicked the victim - her ex-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 said when he left the library on the day of the attack, 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.

The man said he walked to the parking lot and Kent reportedly caught up with him, pushing and punching him.

By this time, personnel from the East Fork Fire & Paramedic Districts and library were on the scene and separated the two.

Mattox was convicted Feb. 11 in Tahoe Township Justice Court of domestic battery. She was sentenced to two days in Douglas County Jail or 10 days of house arrest.

The victim testified Tuesday he didn't remove any of Kent's items.

"I was in fear for my life. He hurt me and he scared me. I have done nothing to this man," the victim said.

Gamble asked Kent why he didn't call 911 if he thought the victim stole items.

"When you park behind somebody's truck and block them in - the kidnapping may have occurred right there - you are taking the law into your own hands. I can't even imagine anything that stupid," Gamble said.

Gamble also pointed out the incident took place 100 yards from the fire station and a dozen witnesses were on site within minutes who corroborated the victim's account.

"I just wish this never would have happened," Kent said. "I thought I was doing the right thing by taking matters into my own hands."

Kent's probation includes 80 hours of community service. He is subject to random search and seizure and must abstain from drugs and alcohol.

"Any violation of these terms with the smell of violence and you will go to prison," Gamble said. "Let this be the world's best warning to you."

He forbid Kent from any contact with the victim.


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