Fish Springs man gets maximum for breaking woman’s bones
A woman said she was regularly abused and prevented from talking to neighbors during three months she was living at a defunct Fish Springs dude ranch.
Thomas J. Sims, 52, who was living at Sierra Spirit Ranch, was sentenced to the maximum 2-5 years in prison after he admitted to battery causing substantial bodily harm.
Both the prosecution and defense argued for a suspended sentence, saying that Sims had so much time served in jail he wouldn’t be in prison long.
But District Judge Tom Gregory said the crime called for incarceration, as did Sims’ behavior since he was arrested in January 2018, which resulted in his being jailed on three occasions.
The victim testified that she and Sims met online and texted back and forth for six months, when he offered to bring her to Nevada.
She said they moved on Aug. 8, 2017, and that trouble started when Sims’s truck broke down in Lee Vining and he attacked her.
“He terrorized me every day,” she said.
She was awaiting a $30,000 settlement after her house was auctioned, which she said Sims made her use to buy him a truck.
She said that on Nov. 12, 2017, he became angry with her and knocked her down, breaking her arm and fracturing her hip. She said it was hours before he took her to the hospital and that he told her to tell people she fell down and hurt herself.
Under oath, she testified that Sims dug a hole in the front yard and referred to it as her grave.
“He said that he would tell people I met someone online and took off,” she said.
She asked Gregory to sentence Sims to the maximum, saying she would have to wear a brace for the rest of her life.
“We’re not here because of anything I did,” she told Sims from the stand. “We’re here because of what you did.”
Sims apologized to the woman, saying he started using methamphetamine a few years ago and it drove his life in a bad direction.
Sims was taken into custody last fall after he was found in possession of meth. He was sentenced to a suspended 12-32-month prison term on condition he attend some form of drug court. A possession charge carries mandatory probation.
He was given credit for 267 days time served in the battery and 129 days time served for the possession charge.
He also owes $2,955 in supervision fees.
Sims was arrested Jan. 14, 2018, after deputies received word from someone the victim texted in Arizona that she was afraid for her life.
His attorney, David Houston, brought out that Sims intended to use the ranch as a legal marijuana grow site. Douglas County doesn’t permit marijuana dispensaries, labs or farms.