Knocking down gates puts man behind bars |

Knocking down gates puts man behind bars

Douglas Countty Sheriff’s Office

A California felon, who was free for 48 hours before he was fleeing Douglas County deputies and knocking down gates, was sentenced to up to five years in prison on Tuesday.

Johnny R. Miller, 28, was warned that he could face a habitual felon sentence if he doesn’t change his ways.

“The state didn’t come here and ask me to sentence you as a habitual felon, but you’re pushing through that gate, too,” District Judge Tod Young said.

Miller was arrested Sept. 24 after deputies responded to a domestic dispute call at the Carson Valley Inn.

Driving a silver Ford Escape, Miller led deputies on a chase that knocked down two Bently gates, one at Stockyard and another at Heybourne. The Escape was found abandoned alongside Highway 395 near Airport Road with more than 5 pounds of marijuana and ammunition inside.

Miller and a woman prosecutors described as his girlfriend were arrested later that morning coming out of the Gardnerville Walmart.

Deputy District Attorney Matt Johnson said Miller had a record with a half-dozen felonies.

Johnson said the woman told fellow inmates that Miller had left a firearm in a bush at the Minden casino, which prompted them to alert deputies, who found the weapon.

He admitted to willful destruction of property and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

“I had no intention of coming here to your town and breaking the law,” Miller said.

Miller was sentenced to simultaneous 24-60 month prison terms and given credit for 170 days time served.

He was ordered to reimburse Bently $9,114 for the gates.

The reckoning Young warned Miller about may be coming soon, as he was charged recently with possession of a dangerous weapon in the jail.

Miller’s attorney Mathew Work objected to Johnson’s introducing the case during the sentencing hearing, since he hasn’t been convicted.

Johnson said that case is making its way through East Fork Justice Court.