Gardnerville man released from jail in wedding fracas |

Gardnerville man released from jail in wedding fracas

Staff Reports

A Gardnerville man whose mother accused him of domestic battery when she broke up his wedding was released from Douglas County Jail on his own recognizance Wednesday.

East Fork Justice Tom Perkins ordered Justin Lew Harris, 35, to return to court for a Nov. 2 hearing.

He declined to appoint a lawyer for Harris, but said he would reconsider Nov. 2 if the defendant is unable to find counsel.

Harris is charged with disorderly conduct and coercion, both misdemeanors.

He was arrested Oct. 17 following an altercation at Carson Valley United Methodist Church when his 56-year-old mother arrived to stop his wedding.

According to reports, he carried her out of the church as she was loudly objecting to the ceremony.

On Wednesday, the alleged victim indicated she wanted contact with her son.

“Treat members of your family with respect,” Perkins told Harris.

A 50-year-old woman, who admitted using drugs and failing to care for her 4-year-old son, was ordered Wednesday to come back to court Nov. 4 with substance abuse evaluation.

Claire Arthur was arrested Monday when she tested positive for alcohol.

She denied drinking, and told East Fork Judge Tom Perkins she hadn’t completed the substance abuse evaluation because she had been sick.

Arthur said she scheduled two appointments since the Sept. 21 order, but had canceled both of them.

Perkins said he would impose the jail term if she fails to get the evaluation or tests positive.

“If there’s a whiff of alcohol when you come back on Nov. 4, I am going to give you that 90 days,” Perkins said.

Arthur was arrested in September after officials discovered her young son living in disarray. At the time of her arrest, Arthur tested positive for alcohol, amphetamine and methamphetamine.

She was originally charged with felony child abuse, but the offense was reduced to a misdemeanor.

Her sentence was suspended for two years on the condition she violate no laws, follow a family case plan, attend parenting classes, abstain from drugs and alcohol and follow recommendations in a substance abuse evaluation.