Every other Monday, Judge Jim Shirley returns to his chambers in the last round courthouse still in use today.

It’s Law and Motion Day at Pershing County’s 11th Judicial District Court. Judge Shirley divides the rest of his time between Lander and Mineral Counties.

On Monday, June 15, a defendant in a suit and tie enters the courthouse foyer and looks around before settling on a wooden bench. 

Except for the lack of a briefcase, he could be a defense attorney. Across the room, parents wait to hear the judge’s decision about their daughter’s probation violation hearing.

The corona-virus bars them from entering the courtroom like they have many times before.

John Routsis, a criminal defense lawyer from Reno, defended four clients. Each was arrested at Burning Man last summer.

They’d all completed out-of-state drug court programs and traveled to court to drop their guilty pleas. They’re now eligible to have their records sealed.

On Sept. 4, 2019, the Guardian reported that at least 58 people were arrested at Burning Man last summer, mostly for drug possession. Burning Man canceled the 2020 festival.



Other cases:

Uriel Pena Castellanos, of Grass Valley, faced a probation violation hearing. However, no interpreter was available to translate the allegations from English to Castellanos’ native language, Spanish. Judge Shirley granted Kyle Swanson’s request to reschedule the hearing until July 20.

Last October., Castellanos pleaded guilty to grand larceny of livestock. 



Maggie Kathleen Gallagher came to court from jail to face charges of violating her probation. 

Judge Shirley ordered Gallagher released to her parents for transport to Vitality Center, a drug treatment facility in Elko, NV. 

“Stay in that program. Do not leave with someone else. Write that on your wall. I don’t want to send you to prison, but if you keep doing what you’re doing, there’s no other option,” he told the defendant.

After Gallagher finishes the 30-day program, the court will look at community-based aftercare. 



Steve Evenson represented Stephanie Lorraine Mobley-Roth  at her two status hearings. She pleads not guilty to charges of possessing drugs and stolen property. 

“When felony cases remain stagnant for three years, through no acts of my client that I am aware of, that raises some issues I need to research before moving the case forward, ” said Evenson. “My client has ex-pressed innocence on both charges.”

 The judge set the trial for Sept. 28, 29 and 30 on the stolen property case.`Mobley-Roth stands trial for drug possession charges Oct. 14, 15 and 16.



Stacy William Mahon appeared for a probation violation hearing. 

He admitted to several violations, in-cluding missed and positive drug tests and failure to meet his financial obligations. He also did not com-plete the Western Regional Drug Court program.  Cochran asked the judge to order Mahon into the Churchill County mental health court.



On March 23, 2020, Mahon was released from New Frontier Treatment Center. Vicki Jones, a clinical social worker at NFTC, wrote a letter on Mahon’s behalf, saying he’d benefit from mental health court.

DDA Banks disagreed. 

“This is absolute nonsense,” he said. “This is absolute malarkey. I am on the drug court panel and have been involved in Mr. Mahon’s treatment for the better part of two years. The practical reality is Mr. Ma-hon is a five-time felon who has been horrible in his compliance.”

“You’ve given some good arguments, but I don’t have facts before me,” said the judge after listening to Banks. 

He asked Cochran to find out if the mental health court would accept Mahon, given his history. Mahon returns to court on July 6. Until then, the judge remanded him to the custody of the sheriff’s office.

Evenson said his client, Sean Michael Cody, planned to plead no-contest to the possession of drug para-phernalia. 

The attorney said he would supply Cody with the paperwork to enter the plea.



Delson Leon Williams, 40, did not make it to court from Wadsworth, Calif., for his sentencing hearing. Steve Cochran assured the court that Williams was not on the run, but that his ride fell through. 

Williams does not have a valid driver’s license. The judge continued the matter until July 6.