Man admits starting shootout in cul de sac


A trial has been vacated after an Indian Hills man admitted he started a May, 4, 2019, shootout in his cul-de-sac.

Dallas Tanner Nicholson, 29, admitted to one count of assault with a deadly weapon, which is punishable by up to 1-6 years in prison.

Nicholson was facing two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and a third of aiming a firearm at another human being.

Under a plea agreement, prosecutors will dismiss the other charges will be dismissed and recommend that any prison sentence will be suspended.

Attorney William Routsis protested when District Judge Tod Young indicated he might have a hard time considering probation in the case.

Nicholson continued with his guilty plea after consulting with Routsis, who said he plans to introduce evidence at sentencing that Nicholson had reason to be afraid of the men he confronted that night.

Young said he’d be happy to consider whatever brief Routsis decided to file, but that he didn’t have anything to rule on, yet.

Nicholson and another man were injured in the shootout, where investigators counted 23 separate rounds were fired.

Nicholson drew his weapon first, prompting another man to draw and fire, and Nicholson returned fire.

Nicholson is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 25.

• A Gardnerville man is facing up to 2-15 years in prison after he admitted to high level possession of a controlled substance.

Christopher Michael Murray, 27, admitted Tuesday to having 75 grams of methamphetamine on April 15 while he was in the jail.

It had been his second felony arrest in six months and as part of the resolution of his case, a previous case was dismissed.

He also faces a $50,000 fine at his Aug. 17 sentencing.

• The wheelman in the delivery of 101 grams of methamphetamine received a suspended 1-4-year prison sentence on condition he attend Western Nevada Regional Drug Court.

Lewis Alan Berluti, 61, used methamphetamine daily for 30 years, according to his attorney Maria Pence. Berluti admitted a count of possession of a controlled substance for sale.

“I’ve been involved in criminal activity all my life,” he said. “I know that’s not what I want to do.”

Berluti was driving for Megan Danielle Agosto, who received 19-60 months in prison in May after admitting to high-level possession of methamphetamine.

• A Carson City woman admitted to one count of principal to selling a schedule 1 substance.

Brittany Ludington, 29, faces up to 4 years in prison at her Aug. 17 sentencing. Prosecutors are recommending that as a condition of probation she serve 30 days in jail, something she’s already done.

The transaction occurred March 20, and Ludington was arrested on May 8. She will be OR’d to Carson City where she faces a drug charge, according to her attorney.

• The final defendant in a sports book caper that ran up nearly $100,000 admitted to a gross misdemeanor on Tuesday.

Lydia Cay Ponder appeared virtually in court from her home in Phoenix on Tuesday.

Ponder was the least culpable participant in the scam that sent the sports book manager to prison.

Californian Richard Fuentes was betting through the William Hill Sports Book and got Manager Ashley Dean to place small wagers from her bank. If he won, Dean would pay off the bank and give the rest to Fuentes. If he lost, he was supposed to pay the bet so the bank balanced.

The bets started out small but before long Fuentes couldn’t cover them and kept increasing them. Gaming Control agents discovered Fuentes had placed 74 wagers amounting to $1 million. Fuentes was making bets in Reno while Dean was placing bets for him in Stateline.

Ponder worked with Dean, occasionally also placing bets for Fuentes. Dean was sentenced to prison for 19-48 months. Fuentes was convicted of a felony and ordered to pay restitution more than $200,000 in restitution.

Ponder is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 16.

• A South Lake Tahoe man admitted Tuesday that the Harley Davidson he was riding on Highway 50 was stolen.

John Robert Liska, 42, was taken into custody at gunpoint on May 22 after he was stopped on Highway 50 in Roundhill.

Liska faces 1-5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine at his Aug. 17 sentencing.


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