Pair sent to prison for purse snatching
December 18, 2006
Two transients were sentenced Monday to prison for stealing purses from casino customers and attempting to use credit cards.
Edward Tuttle, 36, and Melissa Spencer, 31, each pleaded guilty to grand larceny.
District Judge Michael Gibbons sentenced them to 30 months in Nevada State Prison. They must serve 12 months before they are eligible to parole.
Gibbons also ordered them to pay $1,321.60 restitution.
Tuttle, with nine prior misdemeanor convictions and numerous violations, told Gibbons that prison would only make him worse.
“I am very sorry for the people who were hurt. They were here for a wedding and I screwed their vacation up. But I was high on drugs,” Tuttle said.
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He told the judge he had been clean for several weeks and wanted probation with a referral to Western Regional Drug Court instead of prison.
“I’m close to 37 and I am trying to change,” he said. “Sticking me in prison will only make me worse.”
Originally Spencer asked for drug court, but her lawyer Tod Young said she changed her mind and just wanted to serve out her sentence.
Gibbons rejected Tuttle’s request.
“You’ve been through the system too many times,” he said. “Stealing purses is a very serious crime. I don’t think you are good candidates for probation.”
n A California man who pleaded guilty 13 years ago to an embezzlement charge finally appeared in court Monday for sentencing.
Clayborne Loyd Jr., 44, was working in the slot booth at Harrah’s casino in 1993 when he was videotaped taking money. According to court documents, Loyd took $2,000.
He pleaded guilty in an agreement with the District Attorney’s Office and was set for sentencing May 24, 1993, but never showed up.
District Judge Michael Gibbons set a new sentencing date of Jan. 29.
“You’ve got a lot of explaining to do,” Gibbons said.
He refused a request by lawyer Tod Young that Loyd be released on his own recognizance. He is in Douglas County Jail on $10,000 bail.
According to Young, the original transcript is vague about the date in 1993 when Loyd was to return.
“He told me, ‘I thought I was done,'” Young said.
In the past nine years, he said, Loyd has married, completed substance abuse rehabilitation and is the parent of a 6-year-old.
“You can see he is stable, crime-free and drug-free,” Young said.
n A Stateline man who continues to use marijuana was reinstated on probation Monday so he can pay down his child support bill.
Stephen L. Foster, 48, admitted using marijuana and associating with an individual in violation of his probation.
Probation officer Kevin Young asked District Judge Michael Gibbons to revoke Foster’s probation and send him to prison.
“On our first home visit, Mr. Foster and another woman were flushing marijuana down a toilet. On our second visit, he was hiding a different female with a long criminal record including bank robbery. On the third visit, he was hiding in the bedroom with the same female and he had to be pulled out at gunpoint,” Young said.
Foster said he was using marijuana as a pain reliever and admitted he should have gone to a doctor.
Gibbons reluctantly agreed to place Foster back on probation, but warned it was his last chance.
“You’re putting (probation) officers at risk. I don’t know why they have to pull you out at gunpoint,” Gibbons said.
He sentenced Foster to 18 days in jail and ordered him into drug rehabilitation immediately. He also ordered him to attend 12-step programs and continue to pay down his child support.
Foster said he had reduced the debt from $77,000 to about $7,000.
n If a Carson City woman can’t sell her mobile home within 60 days, the property may be transferred to the Hellwinkel family as restitution for the $103,000 the defendant admitted embezzling from the C.O.D. Garage and Motor Co.
The family has been waiting for restitution for eight years. So far, Julie Theall, 48, has repaid $18,400.
According to Theall’s lawyer Derrick Lopez, the property at 2900 Kit Sierra Way in Carson City near the airport was recently appraised at $142,000, well below the $180,000 asking price.
Gamble ordered the property be relisted at $145,000. He set a review for March 20.
Robb Hellwinkel said he was concerned that the restitution continued to drag out.
“All I want is my $82,650. My concern is that it continually gets delayed. I’m willing to give it more time, but I think you’re being played here as well,” Hellwinkel told Gamble.
Gamble said he would give Theall three more months to sell the property.
“At the end of 60 days, my intention is to do something drastic,” Gamble said. “Either it will be transferred to Mr. Hellwinkel or sold at auction.”