Defendant may attend drug rehab |

Defendant may attend drug rehab

by Sheila Gardner

Nadine Murray, jailed since early January on drug trafficking charges, may be released to attend an in-patient substance abuse treatment program.

East Fork Judge Jim EnEarl told lawyer Arnold Brock of Reno on Wednesday that Murray, 56, could be released on “out-count” if a bed is available at Sierra Recovery Center at Lake Tahoe or New Frontier in Fallon.

He said she would still be a Douglas County Jail inmate at the rehabilitation center and would face serious additional charges if she violated any terms of her release.

Murray has been seeking release from jail where she’s being held on $250,000 bail since her arrest with four others.

Prosecutor Michael McCormick objected to releasing Murray on her own recognizance.

“Ms. Murray has an extensive criminal record and is a threat to the community,” McCormick said. “I applaud her for wanting drug rehabilitation, but we intend to put her in prison for an extended period of time.”

Murray was charged with trafficking in a controlled substance of 28 grams or more, two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance, and sales of a controlled substance.

EnEarl set a preliminary hearing for May 11 to determine if there is enough evidence to believe that Murray committed a crime. Several earlier hearings have been continued.

Murray recently replaced court-appointed attorney Derrick Lopez with Brock.

On Tuesday, co-defendant Steven Hipple pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substances Act and possession of stolen property.

He faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine on each count at his sentencing before District Judge Dave Gamble on May 1.

He is in custody in Douglas County Jail and is wanted in Carson City for a probation violation.

Murray’s ex-husband, Thomas Murray, 48, has been charged with maintaining a place for unlawful sales of a controlled substance, a felony. He is set for a March 28 court appearance.

Darin Culpepper, 37, who was living in a trailer on the property at East Valley Road, pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance.

Gamble set sentencing for May 29 so Culpepper could complete a 90-day drug rehabilitation program.

Karen Sclafani was sentenced Feb. 21 to a suspended six-month sentence in Douglas County Jail.

Sclafani, 41, of Carson City, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

In a predawn raid Jan. 10 at the Murrays’ Johnson Lane home, officers recovered 2 ounces of methamphetamine with a street value of $5,600 through controlled purchases and confiscated at the house.

A motorcycle which had been stolen in Reno also was discovered at the residence.

In 1989, the Murrays were arrested for cultivation of marijuana at the home, and in 2001, the couple was arrested in connection with a methamphetamine lab.

Nadine Murray has served 19 months in Nevada State Prison for the earlier offenses.

The Murrays’ residence on East Valley Road is the subject of a forfeiture action, according to court documents.