Hells Kitchen thief receives probation

Johnathan Adam Towne's mug shot and a Secret Witness photo issued in May.

Johnathan Adam Towne's mug shot and a Secret Witness photo issued in May.


A South Lake Tahoe man, who admitted burglarizing an office at Hell’s Kitchen in Stateline, was given consecutive suspended 19-48-month prison sentences on Tuesday.

Johnathan Adam Towne, 33, will have to spend 60 days in jail as part of his probation on two counts of burglary of a business.

Attorney Brian Filter argued that his client was a severe addict.

“His criminal behavior is driven by his addiction,” Filter said.

Prosecutor Patrick Ferguson acknowledged that Towne didn’t have a prior criminal history, but that he went on a theft spree in Stateline earlier this year.

“These were not isolated cases,” Ferguson said. “He engaged in a spree of crime in Feburary through April. He was a scourge in the Stateline casino corridor.”

Towne said he was ashamed of what he did.

“When I’m high on drugs, I don’t think,” he said. “I hate the things I do when I’m high.”

As part of his probation, Towne will attend the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission for 15 months.

“I don’t want this to be an easy road,” he said in asking for probation with a stiff underlying sentence. “I want to be forced to move forward.”

•A California man blamed a dead co-defendant for involving him in a check forgery ring that cost the Topaz Lodge $30,000.

Josue Abrica Magallon told District Judge Tod Young he got the $3,900 in payroll checks he passed at the Lodge from Jonathan Schofield.

Schofield died of an overdose while awaiting sentencing.

Prosecutor Chelsea Mazza pointed out that Schofield had no criminal history while Magallon had a history of similar crimes.

Defense attorney Justin Clauser said Magallon was valedictorian at his high school and attended UCLA for a year, but that the death of his mother in 2012 and the murder of his father in 2013 led to his turning to drugs and alcohol. He said that the 500 days his client has been incarcerated is the longest time he’d been sober in many years.

Magallon received 12-30 months in prison and was ordered to pay $3,900 restitution to the Lodge and another $150 to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for bringing him back from California. He was given credit for 106 days time served.

Magallon is one of four men accused in the check forgery ring that passed payroll checks that appeared to be from the California Department of Transportation uncovered when Schofield and another man were arrested in January 2020.

The fourth man, George Harlen Beatty, 47, appeared in East Fork Justice Court in December 2020 after being brought back to Douglas County.

• A South Lake Tahoe man only made it three months on probation before he was back in court facing revocation.

Steven Gregory Hurd, 62, admitted to several probation violations on Monday after an arrest for driving under the influence.

Prosecutors sought revocation, saying that if Hurd had stayed in touch with his probation officer, he might not be facing a prison sentence.

“You made yourself unsuperviseable,” District Judge Tom Gregory said. “Go do your time, get these cases behind you and move forward.”

• A man who is on probation for stealing a classic El Camino appeared in Douglas County District Court where his attorney asked the judge to order a competency evaluation.

Ethan Seann Mayotte appeared via video from the jail in an agitated state, hurling invective and accusations that the jail staff was killing him.

Attorney Maria Pence told District Judge Tod Young she had concerns about Mayotte’s competence to aid in his defense.

Mayotte has been in custody since Aug. 20 for a probation violation and failure to appear in court.

He admitted to taking a Wellington man’s vehicle in April 2021. He received a suspended 12-32 month prison sentence on condition he participate in Western Nevada Regional Drug Court and obtain mental health counseling.


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

Sign in to comment