Judge Shirley grants probation to inmates

On Wednesday, Oct. 25,  Eleventh District Court Judge Jim Shirley presided over 22 cases. Shirley released David Iturriaga from the Lander County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) jail and placed him on probation. 

Todd Edward John Holley

The morning courtroom started with the probation violation hearing for Todd Edward John Holley. Holley admitted to violating his probation when he failed to change his residence as instructed. He also admitted to using a controlled substance. On Oct. 1, an LCSO deputy conducted a traffic stop, during which the deputy became aware that Holley was on probation. The deputy also discovered needles and a burnt white powdery substance in the vehicle. Holley admitted to all violations during the hearing.

His attorney, Todd Plimpton, stated, “We recommend Holly for the drug court program and that he be reinstated back on probation. It was a victimless crime, and we will stand with the recommendation of the P and P (Parole and Probation) program. I think with that added condition, (drug court recommendation) it will allow this young man to get an opportunity to exercise the appropriate tools to quit offending.”

District Attorney Hy Forgeron replied, “If Holley were to be placed back on probation and join the drug court program, the state would not pursue further charges against Holley for the other violations. I think the underlying offense is drug-related and I support the division’s recommendation.”

Shirley explained his concern. “A person who uses drugs has to choose to no longer do so. I can send you to drug court, but if you do not choose not to use drugs, then the treatment will not work,” he said.

Shirley decided to follow the recommendations provided by parole and probation offices. Shirley said, “I will follow the recommendations provided but will not do so until you have been accepted to drug court. If the drug court accepts you, then I would require you to find a new place to live.” 

Shirley added, “I want to see everything in place before I release him.” 

Judge Shirley scheduled another hearing for Holley on Nov. 21, to see if he has been accepted to the drug court program and make sure his affairs are in order before releasing him on probation.

Michelle Ann Crandall

Michelle Ann Crandall entered a no-contest plea during her arraignment hearing, which Shirley decided to accept.

“She had a job and a residence when this happened, but now she does not. We are requesting that she gets put on probation so she can take care of her kids, establish a job and find a residence,” Plimpton said.

Crandall cannot have any contact with the victim of the incident, her grandmother, whom she allegedly prevented from reporting a crime by taking a cell phone. The Division of Parole and Probation will conduct an investigation and report back before the Dec. 19 sentencing hearing. Crandall’s probation release will likely take place in the coming weeks.

David Iturriaga

David Iturriaga was released from the Lander County Jail. He completed a rigorous military-style program. 

Iturriaga said, “I do not have a job just yet, but I am thinking about going back into mining. I have a good record with Newmont and I’m considering applying at Barrick Gold.”

Shirley replied, “I will approve 360 days credit in the Lander County Jail and place you on probation. The sheriff’s department will release you from custody today.”  

David Allen Penn

 David Allen Penn admitted to taking another county resident’s property during his probation violation hearing. Penn, who was arrested after stealing a tractor, confirmed his actions and stated, “I stole the tractor, and then I got arrested.” Penn’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Nov. 21.  

Other cases 

Jess Manuel Willer signed a plea agreement for violating his probation. 

William Jackson Neal will be placed into the drug court program and issued a drug recognition patch. Neal requested to serve in the drug court in Elko County.  If accepted to the program, he will be released on probation.