Myrl Ray Ayer, 58, of Grass Valley, pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, an AR-15. The State, represented by DDA Todd Banks alleges that on Aug. 15, the defendant fired the rifle, “placing another person in apprehension of immediate bodily harm.” Ayer is also accused of gross misdemeanor child abuse for allegedly firing the weapon at a child.

Ayer faces one to six years in jail for each alleged felony and 364 days in jail for the gross misdemeanor. He may be eligible for probation. The judge set the matter for a jury trial on November 9, 10 and 12.

Kyle Swanson represents Ayer. Later, the judge offered to show the defense attorney the set-up for jury trials under COVID-19 restrictions. 

On March 14, Governor Steve Sisolak suspended jury trials due to the state of emergency. 

Jury trials remained suspended for six months. In late September, Clark County resumed them with a plan involving air purification, rapid testing, partitions and social distancing between jurors.

Brandon Keith Small, 23, came to court for a 72-hour hearing. He’s been in jail for 264 days and plans to apply to the Churchill County mental health court. “Let’s give it a try and hope something good comes of it,” said DDA Banks. 

Both sides of the bench agreed that although “the defendant is not one to wave the red flag,” he’s experienced significant trauma.

The judge suspended Small’s sentence and put him on probation for 18 months, with orders to apply to the Fallon mental health court. “I’m hoping this is something that will change your life,” he said.

Doniese Jorene Allen, 27, came to court from jail for a probation violation hearing. She admitted to absconding from Serenity House, a drug treatment center. She entered the program on Mar. 23 and left on Mar. 31, without contacting the Division of Parole and Probation, represented in court telephonically by Lisa Brannon throughout the day. 

Completing rehabilitation was a condition of Allen’s probation.

The defendant has 236 days of credit for time served and is in her second trimester of pregnancy.

Steve Cochran asked the court to impose a flat time jail sentence on his client. After serving the time, the court would dishonorably discharge her from probation.

“This is not a perfect sentence but balances justice and mercy. It protects the integrity of the process as well as the child, given the substance abuse concerns in this case,” he said.

“I do have my problems, but I’m doing a lot better than I was four years ago,” said Allen.

The judge sentenced her to 90 days in jail. Then he’ll dishonorably discharge her from probation. Because the defendant is pregnant while in custody, he will notify the Division of Child and Family Services. 

According to their website they provide assessment and comprehensive case management services to families.

Brice Henry Hughes, 23, came to court from his home. His grandfather and mother attended the hearing to show support. According to DDA Banks, Hughes completed the Western Regional Drug Court Program “without a hitch.” He also obtained employable skills.

“The only thing holding Mr. Hughes back was addiction to controlled substances,” said the attorney, also a member of the drug court panel. The judge congratulated Hughes and set aside his felony conviction.