Prison sentence for multiple probation violations |

Prison sentence for multiple probation violations

by Sheila Gardner

Four years after he received probation for selling pills from a Stateline casino hotel room, Garrett Jay Churchill is going to prison for multiple probation violations.

On Monday, he told District Judge Michael Gibbons he pleaded guilty in Washoe County to attempted robbery and possession of a controlled substance, stemming from a Feb. 5 arrest in Reno.

The 28-year-old also admitted that he failed to show up for Western Regional Drug Court, left Nevada without permission, and didn’t pay fees or restitution.

“I stayed clean for a couple of months, but then I fell back into using heroin. I apologize to the court,” Churchill said.

He and a codefendant were sentenced by Gibbons on Jan. 12, 2009, after they pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance.

Deputies recovered pills, drug paraphernalia, marijuana and $3,000 believed to be from drug sales.

At the time, Churchill was on felony probation from Arizona.

The pair was placed on probation, with a suspended sentence of 13-48 months in prison.

Gibbons pointed out Monday that Churchill would have four felony convictions.

“You could be in prison for a long time,” Gibbons said.

Churchill has credit for 523 days in custody.

Gibbons took no position whether Churchill’s prison sentence should be concurrent or consecutive to his upcoming Washoe County sentence.

“I am sorry I didn’t follow through on this,” Churchill said. “I apologize for wasting the court’s time. You gave me a lot of chances. I thank you for that.”

Churchill’s lawyer, Derrick Lopez, said his client was a different person when he was under the influence of heroin.

“He does have a lot of redeeming qualities,” Lopez said. “When he uses heroin, that good person goes away. That’s very unfortunate.”