Judge challenges Lovelock man to devise plan for sobriety

A mix of arraignments, status hearings and other cases paraded through the 11th Judicial Court on Monday. But Michael Anthony Carroll approached the final fork in the road – sentencing. 

The Court gave the twenty-nine-year-old Lovelock man a brief reprieve. However, he has homework.

After listening to both sides of the bench, Judge Jim Shirley gave Carroll until Nov. 20 to devise a plan. The defendant must tell the Court how he will manage his sobriety.

“If I accept your plan I might put you on probation,” Judge Shirley told the defendant. “Otherwise, have your affairs in order.”

The most recent charges against Carroll stem from a bar fight on Dec. 16, 2016.

Kyle Swanson represents the defendant. He described Carroll’s victim as “a large man,” much heftier than his client. The two men got into a verbal disagreement inside a bar. The bartender asked both to leave.

Carroll left the bar. His opponent followed.

“My client felt he was in immediate danger,” said Swanson. “He was not the primary aggressor.” Carroll knocked his pursuer to the ground. He didn’t stop there.

The defendant admits he kicked his victim’s leg hard enough to cause a break.

“My client feels regret, sadness and empathy,” said Swanson. “He wishes he could take it back.” After delivering the kick, Carroll left the area.

Initially, the defendant denied the charges. But on June 5, 2017, he pleaded guilty to felony battery with substantial bodily harm. The Court vacated his jury trial.

Swanson argued that until the bar fight his client went six years without incident.

“He was honorably discharged from probation for the most recent of the two felonies on his record,” he added. “That shows he can follow the recommendations of the Court. He’s taken a good step in turning the corner.”

He added that Carroll has custody of his oldest daughter. The defendant wants to continue his responsibilities as a parent, Swanson said.

The defense asked the Court to put the defendant on probation.

Deputy DA Jack Bullock took issue with Swanson’s interpretation of the event.

“It wasn’t a kick,” said the Deputy DA. “The defendant intentionally stomped on the victim’s leg. And he didn’t ‘leave the area.’ He ran. This is not a man who’s learned his lesson.”

Bullock agreed with the recommendations of Parole and Probation. Spokesperson Lisa Brannon recommended that the Court deny probation and send the defendant to prison for 12 - 36 months.

Soon it was Judge Shirley’s turn to pass sentence.

“Mr. Bullock has a good point,” he told the defendant. “You are on felony number three.”

The Judge noted that alcohol was a primary contributing factor in each of the defendant’s arrests.

“Were you drunk during the domestic battery on your record?” he asked. The defendant nodded his head. “Yes, I was,” he said.

“Do you have a problem with alcohol?”

The defendant replied affirmatively.

“Then why keep doing it?” asked the Judge.

“It’s easy to come by,” said Carroll. “I think I can handle it. Then I end up here.”

Judge Shirley continued the sentencing until Nov. 20. 

“It’s on you to come up with a plan,” he told Carroll. “I’ll also want an evaluation and recommendation from a counselor by then.”

Other cases

James Reith Grangruth appeared for a probation violation hearing. The Court continued his sentencing until Nov. 6.

The Court continued Stephanie Lorraine Mobley-Roth’s change of plea to Nov. 20. She faces charges of possession of stolen property and controlled substances for sale.

The 11th Judicial District arraigned James Jay Nichols on charges of possessing a stolen firearm. He’ll be sentenced on Dec. 18.

The DA’s office issued a bench warrant for Amanda Ann Boney to face sentencing for battery on a peace officer.

Steven Wendell Sallaz appeared in court for a status hearing on charges of unlawful use of a controlled substance. The 11th Judicial continued his case until Oct. 31.

The court arraigned Delson Leon Williams for possession of a controlled substance. They set an eligibility and sentencing hearing for Dec. 18.