Minden man says going to trial a bad bet, admits robbery
Calling the testimony against him a collection of lies and contradictions, Minden resident Robert Christian Pierce pleaded guilty to a single count of robbery this morning.
Pierce, 33, said he would rather take the deal in which a charge of kidnapping with a deadly weapon was dropped than take the chance that he would be convicted.
“I don’t want to leave the chance that I get 25 years to life in the hands of 12 strangers,” he said “What I am guilty of is associated with the wrong people over those months. I will never associate myself with that sort of people again.”
Defense attorney John Oakes told Judge Michael Gibbons that it was co-defendant Timothy Young’s testimony that convinced both he and Pierce that a plea deal was the better course.
Under the agreement, the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office agreed to recommend a sentence of 2-5 years in prison.
Pierce, who is already on probation for a similar incident that actually occurred after this one, could argue for another suspended sentence.
“I do plan on seeking a pardon when all this is completed,” Pierce said.
The robbery charge carries a sentence of 2-15 years, and despite the sentencing recommendation, Gibbons could sentence Pierce to the full amount.
“This is a bizarre set of circumstances,” Gibbons said after Pierce declined to describe what happened.
It’s Pierce’s contention that he was never at Bodie Flats on Aug. 3, 2009, when a Carson City man said he was taken from his home by Pierce and Young and driven into the Pine Nuts where he was relieved of his clothing and left to walk back.
The victim sought shelter at a home in the vicinity, where the occupants gave him clothes and a ride to the Gardnerville Ranchos 7-Eleven where his father picked him up.
Prosecutor Laurie Trotter said the victim would testify he was asked where he wanted to be buried, where he’d like to be stabbed, was kicked and choked, before being required to strip down to his underwear and socks.
A few weeks later, on Aug. 25, Pierce and Young were involved in a similar case. Both men pleaded guilty and were sentenced. Young received a prison term and Pierce got a jail term and suspended prison sentence. In that case, the victim owed Young for a tattoo he received. The two men tried to coerce the victim into signing over a truck that the victim didn’t own. It was not until the day Pierce was sentenced in that case that an arrest warrant was issued on the earlier incident.
Young was sentenced to 2-5 years in prison to run concurrently with his prison sentence in the other case.
Pierce competed his year jail sentence and is being held in lieu of $50,000 cash bail until his Nov. 29 sentencing date.