Parolee signals plea in fatal eluding case




An Oregon parolee, whose passenger was killed in a pursuit through the Gardnerville Ranchos, is scheduled to appear in Douglas County District Court on Feb. 7 after he waived his preliminary hearing on Wednesday.

Blake Edward Thacker, 31, appeared in East Fork Justice Court with his attorney.

Under an agreement with prosecutors, Thacker will admit to a count of attempting to elude causing death or substantial bodily harm.

Thacker could change his mind on the plea when he appears in district court and would then be set for trial.

The charge carries a sentence of up to 2-20 years and a $50,000 fine.

Thacker is being held on a no-bail fugitive warrant in connection with the Nov. 16 death of passenger Jon Schulze.

In exchange for his plea, prosecutors won’t seek habitual criminal status, but are otherwise free to argue for any lawful sentence.

Authorities had been looking for Thacker for two weeks when he drove up behind a deputy who was at Blue Rock and Lyle, according to court documents. When Thacker realized he’d been spotted, he made a U-turn on the spot and then turned north on Robin, before turning west on Kimmerling.

The deputy told investigators that he lost track of Thacker on the Kimmerling Way curve before spotting him on the sidewalk along Robin.

A witness said he heard the commotion and looked out in time to see Thacker’s Jeep roll completely and land on its wheels.

The deputy got out of his patrol vehicle and pulled his weapon, but Thacker drove off again and attempted to turn south on Tillman from Patricia, where he slammed into another vehicle, causing the Jeep to roll, and ejecting Schulze. The driver of the other vehicle received minor injuries in the collision.

• A Gardnerville woman who’s facing sentencing in a gross misdemeanor charge on Monday may remain in custody pending sentencing on a related charge.

Shalyn Nichole Lewallen, 38, admitted in December to driving under the influence with her children in the vehicle.

Attorney Brian Filter sought her release so she could obtain a substance abuse evaluation prior as required by law before she can be sentenced for driving under the influence.

Prosecutor Chelsea Mazza argued that the last time Lewallen was released she had a blood alcohol content of higher than .3 when she was found by a bail bondsman, who took her to the hospital.

“She continues to drink at an extreme level, and has been hospitalized three different occasions,” Mazza said.

The issue is that the jail is having difficulties arranging evaluations for inmates.

Justice of the Peace Richard Glasson said he was willing to order her an escort to undergo the needed evaluation.

• A Topaz Ranch Estates man with a long history with law enforcement is scheduled to return to East Fork Justice Court on Wednesday.

Bradley Stribling, 31, was arrested Jan. 13 after deputies responded to a neighborhood on a variety of issues. He was booked into Douglas County Jail on a gross misdemeanor possession of a dangerous drug without a prescription.

He is scheduled to appear Wednesday in Justice Court.

Stribling claimed he has been harassed by authorities over the past five years.

“I’m not saying I’m innocent,” he told Glasson. “But I’m not guilty of all they’re saying I am.”


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