Man to serve year in jail | RecordCourier.com
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Man to serve year in jail

by Sheila Gardner

An Indian Hills teen-ager who witnesses say instigated the beating and robbery of a newspaper carrier will serve 12 months in Douglas County Jail and up to five years in Nevada State Prison if he violates his probation.

Archie Jessmer Jr., 18, who has a juvenile record, apologized to Michael Santi, 23, and insisted he did not strike or punch the victim who was folding newspapers at the time of the Sept. 20 attack in the parking lot of an Indian Hills shopping center.

He pleaded guilty in December to being a criminal accessory, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

According to Jessmer’s attorney, Mark Jackson, the defendant and two teen-agers, Christian DeLaTorre and Dustin Paul Miller, both 16, saw Santi at the shopping center as he was preparing to unload copies of The Record-Courier.

Jessmer said, “Let’s get this guy,” but then tried to tell his companions that he was kidding, according to Jackson.

The two co-defendants are accused of beating Santi, and Jessmer admitted taking his wallet. Jessmer also said he stopped the fight.

Deputy District Attorney Derrick Lopez said the state agreed to jail time in exchange for Jessmer’s guilty plea and information he provided regarding other crimes.

“Mr. Santi couldn’t testify for sure if Jessmer did anything. He had his hands over his face because he was protecting himself,” Lopez said. “There is some significant risk Mr. Jessmer will be retaliated against in prison.”

Jackson said Jessmer had renounced his affiliation with the Eastwood Tokers, a Carson City gang.

“Mr. Jessmer has a desire to move forward with his life. He has renounced his connection with the Tokers. He’s fearful of them because he has been cooperating. He heard in jail that he is going to be jumped.”

Santi said he was concerned about the randomness of the attack.

“Regardless of what happened to me, if I hadn’t been there, it would have been somebody else. That should be looked at heavily,” Santi said.

Jessmer apologized for the attack.

“I never punched you or kicked you. I was there and I accept the punishment for that. I ask you to accept my apology,” Jessmer said.

“Apology accepted,” Santi replied.

District Judge Michael Gibbons warned Jessmer that he faces five years in prison if he fails probation.

“I’m very concerned in light of his juvenile record. He has been unsuccessful in the system,” Gibbons said.

“You could end up serving twice as much time. Do you think you can make it on probation?”

Jessmer told the judge that he has changed since he was in juvenile court.

“In the juvenile system I was ignorant,” Jessmer said. “I’ve grown up. I look at things from a different perspective.”

Gibbons sentenced Jessmer to one year in Douglas County Jail and five years probation. He also must pay $1,906.28 restitution to Santi.

Jessmer is subject to random search and seizure for stolen property, controlled substances or alcohol. He is forbidden to associate with any gang members, people on parole or probation, or anyone under age 18. In addition he must perform community service, reimburse Douglas County $500 in attorney’s fees and testify truthfully if he is called as a witness in other proceedings.

Jessmer will get credit for the 136 days he has been in jail since his arrest. He can be released Sept. 19.

The other suspects, Miller and DeLaTorre, are in Douglas County Jail awaiting preliminary hearings in adult court. The Supreme Court recently denied their attorneys’ requests to stay proceedings until it rules on whether they should be certified as juveniles.

They are scheduled to appear in court Feb. 18.

The Record-Courier E-mail: rc@tahoe.com

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