Medication ordered in motorhome pursuit proceedings
A California man accused of leaving a trail of sparks down Highway 395 as he attempted to elude deputies will have to take medication to render him competent to aid in his defense.
Two Lakes Crossing doctors testified on Thursday that they believe Christopher Debastiani would not be able to participate in a trial without the help of medication.
District Judge Tod Young ruled that while requiring Debastiani, 47, to take anti-psychotic medication was definitely intrusive, it was the only way he could be assured a fair trial.
Defense attorney Kris Brown argued that Debastiani could be held for up to 10 years at the mental health facility to see if he was able to recover his competence on his own.
However, prosecutor Ric Casper said there was a significant interest in the state to move forward with the case. Debastiani is facing three counts of assault with a deadly weapon and attempted eluding and could be facing up to 24 years in prison.
Brown said Debastiani started taking medication in the last few weeks after refusing for months at Lakes Crossing in Sparks.
Young said since he was taking the medication, all his order would do is require that to continue when Debastiani was transferred to the Douglas County Jail.
He was arrested Aug. 26, 2018, after allegedly leading officers on a chase from Stateline down Highway 50 to Carson City and then south on Highway 395.
The motorhome ran over spike strips at highways 50 and 395 and in Minden, and continued south on rims sending a shower of sparks. He was taken into custody after he allegedly ran into the Ritchford Stables in Gardnerville.