Man gets second prison term for drunk driving |

Man gets second prison term for drunk driving

Staff Reports

A 49-year-old Gardnerville man faces a second prison term for drunk driving even though his prior felony conviction is 20 years old.

Kenneth Carlton told District Judge Dave Gamble on Tuesday he had been drinking when he was arrested Jan. 29 on Lampe Drive in Gardnerville with a blood-alcohol content of .212, nearly three times the legal limit of .08 for driving.

A check of his records revealed a felony DUI conviction from 1992 in Santa Clara, Calif.

Under Nevada law, any subsequent conviction for driving under the influence following a felony is an automatic felony and mandatory prison regardless of the date the prior offense was incurred.

Probation is not permitted and the defendant faces up to 15 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

In a plea agreement, the district attorney agreed to recommend 2-5 years and a $2,000 fine, but the sentence is up to the judge.

Gamble set sentencing for April 17.

A 26-year-old Gardnerville man was sentenced Tuesday to a minimum of 12 months in Nevada State Prison after he was terminated from a program designed to keep felony drunk drivers out of prison.

Benjamin Martin was discharged from DUI court Monday for drinking violations, and appeared Tuesday before District Judge Dave Gamble.

“I gave it a shot,” Martin said. “I didn’t do what I was supposed to do, and I am ready to pay for it.”

Martin said he didn’t think he had a drinking problem because he had been sober for several months and drank one beer in violation of the DUI court.

“Look around you,” Gamble said, gesturing toward the court gallery. “Of all the 20 or so people in here, who’s the one person going to prison because alcohol? It’s you. You need to see that alcohol is taking you to prison and there are not many worse places to be. I think I am sorrier than you are that you’re going to prison.”

He sentenced Martin to 36 months in prison, with parole eligibility after 12 months. Martin has credit for 44 days in custody.

Probation was reinstated Tuesday for 27-year-old Timothy Jenkins after he served six months in Douglas County Jail for numerous violations.

“If I see you again for any reason – which you’ve already given me – I will have no choice but to send you to prison,” Gamble said.

Jenkins was convicted of grand larceny, admitting he stole $27,000 in jewelry and other items from family members to support a heroin habit.

Gamble sentenced him to probation in January 2011, but he committed several violations which caught up with him in October.

Gamble sent him back to Douglas County Jail and deferred his decision until Tuesday whether to send him to prison.

Jenkins’ lawyer, Derrick Lopez, said his client had a child on the way and was at a point in his life where he wanted to be responsible for his actions.

Prosecutor Erik Levin recommended Jenkins be sentenced to prison.

“He had family support when he walked away from rehab and failed to pay restitution. I don’t believe he can complete probation,” Levin said.

State probation officer Tami Matus also recommended Jenkins’ probation be revoked.

“None of these things (probation) were done. A year of probation has been wasted. Now, he only has four years to get the restitution paid,” she said.

Jenkins asked for another chance.

Gamble asked the defendant if anything had changed.

“I am about to be a father,” Jenkins said.

“So far, you’ve completely flipped off every requirement that was given to you,” Gamble said. “Against all odds, I am going to give you another chance to fail at probation. Either you’ve changed or you haven’t.”

He extended Jenkins’ probation to five years.