Motorhome driver may face more charges
April 3, 2019
Prosecutors may up the ante in the case of a California man accused of driving his motorhome from Stateline to Gardnerville with deputies in a fiery pursuit last summer.
Christopher Debastiani, 48, denied a charge of felony attempted eluding on Tuesday in Douglas County District Court.
Prosecutor Ric Casper notified the court that he planned on amending the complaint against Debastiani by adding three counts of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the Aug. 26 chase.
A three-day trial is scheduled for July 31 through Aug. 2.
Judge Tod Young set a second arraignment for the new charges on April 11.
A California man, who used his brother's identity to avoid being taken into custody, was sentenced to prison.
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Joseph Wages, 36, acknowledged a long criminal record on Tuesday.
"I know I've got an extensive history," he said. "But I'm tired of it, and I don't want to go to prison again."
Defense attorney Matthew Ence argued that Wages' record wasn't as bad as it appeared on paper.
But with 10 arrests sending him to prison five times, that was a hard case to make.
"Look at his record, he should get the maximum," prosecutor Erik Levin replied. "It would be difficult to find someone who would be a worse candidate for probation."
Young agreed, sentencing Wages to 12-36 months in prison.
"You have an abysmal history," he said.
Wages also has a warrant out of California that he will have to deal with in the near future.
A Dresslerville man who led deputies on a 135 mph chase up Highway 395 received a suspended 12-36-month prison sentence on Monday.
Jessie Avalos, 25, received 63 days in jail, which amounted to the time he's served since his Jan. 13 arrest in connection with the chase.
Attorney Kris Brown said that Avalos fled authorities because he had misdemeanor warrants.
"We had a discussion on how he turned misdemeanors into a felony," she said.
A Washoe Tribe Police Officer was struck by the vehicle's mirror as Avalos was attempting to escape.
The chase led up Highway 88 to Highway 395 and then onto Stephanie Way, where speeds hit 80 mph according to prosecutors.
A 36-year-old Gardnerville man received a year in jail for battery on a peace officer.
Nicholas Langston, 36, has a history of being convicted of hitting people. He went to prison in 2015 for battery on another inmate. He was in jail because he'd punched a man in the face.
Prosecutor Erik Levin argued for the maximum sentence.
"We can't have open season on our deputies," he said. "Their jobs are hard enough as it is."
Langston said he had 141 days sober. He apologized for assaulting the deputy.
Langston was arrested Nov. 11, 2018, near the Gardnerville S curve after he was stopped for being a drunken pedestrian at 4:30 p.m.
A man who was found with a stolen pistol in his vehicle received a suspended 12-36-month prison sentence.
Izaac Holmes, 21, admitted to a count of attempted possession of a stolen firearm in connection with his June 8, 2018, arrest.