Man who held gun to teen’s head gets probation |

Man who held gun to teen’s head gets probation

by Aurora Sain

After spending a lengthy amount of time in custody and working towards finding a medication that works, a Topaz Ranch Estates man is getting a chance at probation.

Gary Walker, 69, was arrested on New Years Eve in 2015 after entering a neighbors house and pointing a gun at the head of a 16-year-old girl claiming that the family was tapping his cell phone.

He previously pleaded guilty to felony charges of burglary with a deadly weapon and assault with a deadly weapon.

He has been monitored each time he was in custody while they try out different medications, and director of forensic health for the jail system, Dr. Joseph McEllistrem, said that he believes the incident was part of a mental health issue.

McEllistrem said that when he met with Walker early on, Walker was agitated, in a manic state, paranoid and delusional, saying things like he had $40 million to bail himself out.

Walker, who has no prior criminal history, had been a contributing member of society, until he started acting different dating back to a few years ago, according to Walker’s wife, who has been with him since the mid 1970’s.

“I initially thought that this was a medical crisis instead of a mental issue,” said McEllistrem.

Walker had a surgery a few years back and they placed him on several medications that caused adverse reactions such as severe depression, thoughts about conspiracies and constantly on edge, said McEllistrem.

Walkers’ wife described the home environment after the surgery as “I went from living with him to surviving with him.”

Walker served in the Vietnam War, so they thought maybe it had to do with a PTSD trigger, but McEllistrem thinks that the surgeries created a bipolar disorder.

Once McEllistrem was able to figure it out, they started him on medications and saw an almost immediate response.

“We’ve seen him medicated and unmedicated,” said McEllistrem. “I think this is going to be a chronic injury.”

When on release from the jail, Walker took his medication as prescribed and was trying to get a handle on his mental health.

“Mr. Walker has been a law abiding citizen his entire life,” said his attorney Maria Pence.

Before the New Years Eve incident, Walkers’ wife was already trying to seek treatment for him.

“He understands that what happened that night is unacceptable,” said Pence.

Since Walker was placed on an order not to enter Douglas County, he has been working with the Veterans Administration to find housing.

“I’m sorry for what I did,” said Walker. “I have no idea why I did it, but it’s not going to happen again.”

The victim’s mother spoke in court about how the incident has affected her daughter and placed a strain on them financially.

“Someone always has to be home with her,” said the mother.

The victims mother tried to ask for over $11,000 in restitution to cover things like moving costs, pet deposits and fuel costs, but Judge Tom Gregory denied the request.

“I do not believe it is appropriate in a criminal conduct case,” said Gregory about the restitution. “I’m very glad you came in today, thank you for your bravery.”

Walker was given a 32-84 month suspended sentence on count one and a 12-36 month concurrent suspended sentence on count two.

He was ordered to pay over $500 in fees and fines and placed on a five year probation.

He will have to report to either veteran’s court or the mental health court, and he is not allowed in Douglas County.

He has credit for 153 days time served.

■ Ralph Ruiz, 30, was not present on Monday for his sentencing for his part in stealing from Walmart and a warrant was issued.

Ruiz was arrested back in May after being caught as the passenger in a truck that had a stolen television and home theatre system.

When police pulled the driver over they found 1.2 grams of methamphetamine and 7.8 grams of heroin.

He previously pleaded guilty to grand larceny and no contest to conspiracy to violate the uniform controlled substances act.

He is facing up to 10 years in prison and up to a $20,000 fine.

A $5,000 cash only warrant was issued for his arrest.

■ An Indian Hills man admitted to shaking and hitting his wife before returning to the room she was in and firing several shots into the ceiling.

Daniel Lee Vanhooser, 57, appeared in Douglas County District Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to felony domestic violence with a deadly weapon.

The incident occurred on April 6. According to court documents, deputies arrived at the scene in time to hear the shots go off.

He is facing a maximum penalty of six years in prison and $5,000 in fines.

■ Cody Dalhaus, 28, is facing a felony for the charges of fraud of uttering a forged instrument . He cashed a total amount of $3,444 at several locations including Smiths, Carson Valley Inn, Sharkeys and Casino Fandango.