Teenager gets 10-year prison sentence in Father’s Day beating death
A 15-year-old was sentenced to up to 10 years in prison this morning in the Father’s Day beating that resulted in the death of Gardnerville resident Terrence Joe Howell.
Alexandrew Vail was ordered to spend 40-120 months in prison by District Judge Dave Gamble.
In sentencing Vail, Gamble said he spent more time on the case than he’d spent in a long time because of Vail’s age.
“But what we lose in this case, and what should never be lost, is that Joe Howell died from your actions,” Gamble said. “You have a choice. I’ve heard a lot about your upbringing. But individuals have the ability to turn another direction. If you don’t do that, you should get used to prison. When you get out you will still be a young man with much of your life ahead of you. You can choose to be a pretend thug or you can take the time to think about Joe Howell and that his daughter will never, ever see her father again. I hope you turn your life around.”
Vail, Anthony Gomez, 30, and Jason Waugh, 28, all pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter charges in Douglas County District Court in connection with Howell’s June 22 death. A fourth defendant, 15-year-old Jimmy Holman, entered a no-contest plea to one count of involuntary manslaughter. Only Waugh received the maximum with 10 years in prison at a Nov. 3 sentencing. Gomez received a maximum of eight years. Holman received a suspended 4-year prison term.
Defense attorney Tod Young asked that Gamble sentence Vail as a juvenile and hold his sentencing on the adult charge.
“He didn’t start out very well, but we have a chance for him to be a better man,” Young said. “This community didn’t celebrate the day Alexandrew came here. But we may rue the day he returns from prison with the education and parenting he gets there.”
Both Gamble and prosecutor Tom Gregory said Vail was the most culpable of the four in Howell’s death.
He admitted kicking Howell while the man was down on all fours.
Howell walked away from the beating, but collapsed the next morning. An autopsy revealed Howell bled to death when his ribs punctured his spleen.