Man sent to prison for third DUI |

Man sent to prison for third DUI

Staff Reports

A Gardnerville man was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months in Nevada State Prison for his third conviction for driving under the influence in seven years.

Richard A. Dewitt, 42, had prior convictions in Yerington from August 2000 and March 2002. Nevada law mandates a prison term for the third conviction.

Dewitt was arrested Aug. 19 with a blood-alcohol content of .132, nearly twice the legal limit of .08 for driving in Nevada.

He must serve 12 months before he is eligible for parole.

Lawyer Terri Roeser said her client accepted responsibility for his action.

“He says he’s an alcoholic,” Roeser said. “He drank, he drove, he shouldn’t have. Now he faces the consequence of going to prison.”

District Judge Dave Gamble complimented Dewitt on his statement to the court.

“If I had a statement like this from every defendant that purely admits the crime and the responsibility, my job would be a lot easier,” Gamble said.

“There’s a certain moment for every third-DUI defendant when the lightbulb goes on and they realize, ‘For my actions, I am going to prison.’

“If I could encapsulate that, I would give it to every second-DUI defendant. “It’s astounding to me that people don’t see it before the third and they all see it after that.”

Gamble also fined Dewitt $2,000 to be paid after his release from prison.

n Dean Johnson, 48, of Minden, pleaded guilty Monday to a third count of driving under the influence within seven years.

He faces up to six years in Nevada State Prison at his sentencing Feb. 13, 2006. The prosecution has agreed to recommend 30 months as part of a plea bargain.

Johnson, who told District Judge Michael Gibbons he also goes by the nickname “Barney,” said he was aware of the penalties and was admitting the charge because he was guilty.

Johnson was arrested May 11 on Highway 88 near Highway 395.

His blood-alcohol content was .16, twice the legal limit of .08 for driving in Nevada.

Court records indicate prior convictions July 21, 2003, and Oct. 13, 2005.

Johnson’s lawyer, William Cole, told Gibbons he was reserving the right to argue the validity of the prior convictions at sentencing.

Johnson said he has been sober for seven months and had completed a residential treatment program.

n District Judge Dave Gamble delayed sentencing Tuesday for a former Gardnerville apartment manager who is trying to join the Nevada National Guard.

Danielle Jensen, 27, pleaded guilty to possession of controlled substance in connection with her arrest in September after authorities found 17 marijuana plants, growing equipment, shotguns and handguns in an apartment she shared with Joe Dean Stephens.

She and Stephens were arrested near the Oregon border.

Her lawyer, Terri Roeser, said Jensen wanted to follow in the footsteps of her mother who has been in the Nevada National Guard for 20 years. Roeser produced a letter from the guard that said Jensen was a good candidate, but would be ineligible if a second felony were added to her record.

She has a 2000 conviction in connection with drug charges in Washoe County.

Roeser said Jensen had an appointment for a drug dependency evaluation that may qualify her for a diversion program. Upon successful completion of such a program, a charge may be dismissed from the defendant’s record.

Gamble set sentencing for Jan. 3. He said he encouraged Jensen in her efforts, but wanted her to take responsibility for her drug problems.

“What we don’t need in the military are a few good drug users,” Gamble said.

He had her tested after court Tuesday and the results were negative, indicating she had not been using drugs.

n A 36-year-old Dresslerville resident who has made several court appearances admitted probation violations and is to be sentenced Jan. 3.

Lawyer Kevin Walsh asked Judge Dave Gamble to delay sentencing to see if Natalie Box would qualify for any treatment programs.

He said she had been dropped from the Western Regional Drug Court because she takes too many pain medications for back problems.

On Tuesday she admitted violations of leaving the area without permission and associating with another person on probation.

“Over the last long while, I’ve tried everything I know to help Ms. Box get through this without going to prison,” Gamble said. “I’m out of ideas.”

Walsh said Box was a manic depressive and violated her probation when she was in a manic state. He said she stopped taking her medication in an effort to qualify for drug court and that compounded her problems.

She originally was convicted of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and supplying a controlled substance to inmates in Douglas County Jail.

According to court records, Box has been on as many as 10 medications for her back problems and manic depression.