Sentencings delayed in trailhead vehicle burglaries


Sentencing was delayed for two people who admitted burglarizing a half-dozen vehicles last May at trailheads in Lake Tahoe and Jacks Valley.

Harvis Berry, 35, appeared remotely in Douglas County District Court on Tuesday from a hospital bed where he was being treated.

District Judge Tod Young said it was clear that Berry’s sentencing hearing had to be delayed and set a May 18 hearing. Berry is facing charges of principal to burglary and fraudulent use of a credit card.

Carolyn Maxine Brinkman, 33, was also in Douglas County District Court on Tuesday, but her sentencing was delayed until May 25.

Under a plea agreement both Berry and Brinkman would receive suspended sentences so they could pay back what they stole.

Attorney Kris Brown said Brinkman was enticed into committing the thefts after she lost her position as a phlebotomist in the coronavirus outbreak.

Figuring out restitution is complicating both sentencings. Prosecutor Chelsea Mazza said the total theft was $15,418, but the pair purchased $6,815 in gift cards using the credit cards they stole from the vehicles. Those gift cards were seized when they were arrested and are currently being held in evidence.

Mazza said extracting the cash from the gift cards could be problematic. That cash would lower the amount of restitution.

Young gave attorneys until May 25 to figure it out.

“It’s going to be really difficult for me to not put you in prison,” he told Brinkman.

• A man who admitted to a felony count of possession of methamphetamine received a suspended 12-30-month sentence and had his probation discharged so he can be extradited to Texas.

Patrick Scott Johnston has been in custody in Douglas County since April 3 when he was arrested on a fugitive warrant.

Under an agreement, Johnston admitted the drug charge and was given credit for the 32 days he’d served already.

Johnston is the subject of a fugitive warrant out of Fort Bend County in the Lone Star State.

• A 48-year-old Gardnerville Ranchos man admitted to a felony instance of driving under the influence.

A July 20 hearing was set to determine if he will be permitted to participate in a diversion program.

If John Phillip Garrett is successful in completing the 3-5 year program the felony will be dismissed and he will be convicted of a misdemeanor DUI.

Garrett had prior DUI cases in 2017 and 2013.


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