Attempted carjacker admits felonies

Derek M. Melendez

Derek M. Melendez

A man arrested in a May 30 attempted carjacking at Smith’s gas station admitted to armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon in Douglas County District Court on Monday.

Derek M. Melendez, 30, was arrested less than a quarter-mile away from Smiths after the early morning incident.

According to court documents, Melendez approached a woman filling up her gas at Smiths around 6:15 a.m. May 30 and pulled a gun to her chest demanding that she hand over her keys.

He was being sought at the time in connection with the shooting death of Eric Wyatt Jr. in Dresslerville.

Wyatt’s mother said he’d been hanging out with Melendez and a Markleeville man, who was arrested on May 30, but released after charges were dropped.

Melendez had a .16 blood alcohol content when he was arrested.

He is being charged with robbery, possession of a handgun, and assault with a deadly weapon.  The weapons charge carries an enhancement increasing the prison time he faces to up to 36 years at his Sept. 25 sentencing.

Because Wyatt’s shooting occurred on Washoe Tribe land, the FBI is in charge of the murder investigation.


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