Woman to work DUI programs in two states
A former South Lake Tahoe woman, who was given the opportunity to try and avoid a felony DUI charge, was told she had to start working the program or face time in prison.
Stacie Anderson, 26, was arrested March 25, 2014, on Highway 50 at Lake Tahoe.
Since her arrest she was told to participate in the DUI Diversion Court program, but has yet to begin any of the requirements because of her involvement in a program for a California case. According to her attorney, Anderson has been extensively involved in both inpatient and outpatient treatment program and counseling in California for her DUI case up there.
However, she has yet to fulfill any of the Nevada DUI Diversion Court requirements besides serving six months of house arrest.
District Judge Tod Young reminded Anderson that while he appreciates her dedication to her California program, Nevada also has requirements she needs to start working on or consider time in prison.
“What she has done in her California program is commendable and enough for the California courts apparently, but what is her program, that has essentially been on hiatus, going to look like in Nevada?” Young said. “DUI offenders are dangerous people and we need to be able to monitor her here.”
Young will allow Anderson’s California program to count towards her Nevada diversion.
Her program must require testing specifically for alcohol as well has getting her interlock device working properly to be able to send the reports of her driving monthly to both courts.
Anderson was ordered to return for a review hearing March 29.
“I want you to succeed,” Young said. “There is no one in this room pulling as hard for you as me. I want you to be sober and I don’t want you to go to prison, but I will put you there. It would be a terrible waste of a fine life if I took five years from you and put you in prison.”
■ A Wellington man who asked to be kept in custody was granted his request.
Adam Westmark, 25, was found guilty of attempted burglary and was placed on probation.
Most people placed on probation are released that day to begin their program, however, Westmark asked to remain in custody for the next six months.
Since his arrest on Sept. 10, Westmark has been in custody and become a trusty, working in the jail’s kitchen.
Westmark was arrested after the homeowner where he was doing yard work saw him inside the home, via security webcam from work, going through his things.
“I work in social services, and believe in giving people second chances and believe people can change their lives, which is why I’d given him this opportunity in the first place,” the victim said. “I question my decision and my ability to give people those chances every day now.”
Westmark is currently on parole and could have his parole revoked because of this new charge.
He has received a food handler’s certification and told the court he would use the extra time in custody to collect more certifications to help get him on his feet when he is released.
Westmark’s attorney said that the extra time in custody was his idea at trying to establish a solid foundation of sobriety.
“Remaining in custody would give him a year of sobriety,” Public Defender Jamie Henry said. “That sobriety would help him leave custody without the thoughts of illegal substances. It would also give him more time and experience in the kitchen to help him learn life skills he can use when he gets out.”
Once he is released, Westmark will complete the Western Regional Drug Court as a condition of his probation.
Young said his decision to allow Westmark a shot at probation was influenced by the victim who spoke in court on Tuesday.
“Going into someone’s home and violating that sanctity is horrendous,” Young said. “In spite of that, he came in here with a tremendous amount of grace, which we all hope we could have, and said you needed a treatment program. He didn’t ask for you to be sent to prison like he could have. This court is thankful to live in a community with people that exhibit such grace.”
If Westmark fails to complete his five-years of probation, his 19-48 month suspended sentence could be imposed.
If his parole is revoked, his Douglas County case is to run consecutive to that case’s sentence.
Westmark was given no credit for time served because of his parole status.
■ The second man of a pair who stole a 42-inch television from the Topsy Lane Walmart admitted to being the driver of the get away vehicle.
John Branum, 41, admitted to conspiracy, a gross misdemeanor.
Security in the store watched Branum and Chad Ward, 39, enter the store, Branum seemingly to look around for employees, while Ward looked at TVs and computers. Branum then left the store and moved the car closer to a side exit.
When Ward left the store with the TV and placed it in the car, Branum drove the pair away.
Branum said his actions were fueled by drugs.
“I was under the influence of heroin and methamphetamine,” he said. “Since then I’ve been clean and trying to get my kids back. It will be 10 months (sober) on the seventh.”
Branum has been out on bail since his Feb. 21, 2015, arrest in Reno.
He faces up to 364 days in jail and up to a $2,000 fine at his March 1 sentencing.
Restitution of $933 will also be ordered to be paid jointly and severally from Ward.
Ward admitted to the theft charge Dec. 7 and faces up to 48 months in prison because of a lengthy criminal record.