Man sentenced to probation, drug court |

Man sentenced to probation, drug court

Staff Reports

A 42-year-old Reno man, with 44 prior felony and misdemeanor convictions, was sentenced Monday to probation for his most recent offense.

District Judge Michael Gibbons sentenced Vince Latham to five years probation and ordered him to successfully complete Western Nevada Regional Drug Court.

Latham’s attorney, Derrick Lopez, said he hoped the judge would look past Latham’s record that includes 38 misdemeanor and six felony convictions.

According to prosecutor Erik Levin, Latham has been to jail 21 times and prison four times.

“He (Latham) is serious about sobriety,” Lopez said. “If he doesn’t succeed, prison awaits.”

Latham was arrested when a deputy, who pulled him over for no taillights, found methamphetamine.

“Since his release, he has really put a lot of effort in getting and staying sober,” Lopez said.

Latham has completed inpatient treatment, is undergoing counseling, and has been employed for the past three months.

“I haven’t been in a program for 10 years,” Latham said.

Previously, he said, he would get out of jail, and go right back to his addiction.

“I am tired of going to prison. I am working for the first time in six years,” he said.

Prosecutor Erik Levin asked that Latham be sentenced to prison.

“He’s been through numerous treatment programs. He’s had all those opportunities before, and hasn’t been successful. He should be expecting to go to prison. There should be a limit,” Levin said.

Gibbons said while he sympathized with Levin, he felt society would be better served if Latham remained out of prison.

“The court is willing to give you a chance,” Gibbons said. “It’s all conditioned on your staying clean. It’s your choice where you end up living.”

Gibbons sentenced Latham to 48 months in Nevada state prison, suspended, and placed him on five years probation.

He must abstain from drugs, alcohol, medical marijuana and other intoxicants.

Latham may not enter bars or casinos unless for employment.

He was arrested June 3 on Highway 50 in Stateline.

■ A 24-year-old Topaz Ranch Estates man was sentenced Monday to five years probation and ordered to pay $1,230 restitution to a blind man whose checks he admitted forging.

District Judge Michael Gibbons sentenced Adam William Westmark to a suspended five-year sentence concurrent to a previous burglary conviction.

He ordered Westmark to pay the elderly victim at the rate of $200 a month.

Westmark’s lawyer, Kris Brown, said her client was a good candidate for probation despite a heroin relapse in May that led to the arrest.

“He is in counseling two times a week, works, and is a productive member of society,” Brown said.

Prosecutor Erik Levin said Westmark had been doing well, and deserved a second chance.

He pleaded guilty to grand larceny.

“Because you have been clean and because of your assistance to law enforcement, the court is going to go along with the recommendations,” Gibbons said. “Keep in mind you have to stay clean and obey all laws.”

Gibbons also ordered Westmark to obtain his high school general equivalency diploma.

He must attend a victim impact panel and send an apology to the victim.