Richard Michael Lothspeich
Richard Michael Lothspeich
The Pershing County 11th Judicial Court met on Wednesday, Sept. 8. Judge Jim Shirley presided. Debbie Okuma, from the Division of Parole and Probation, participated by telephone.

Outside, Halloween pumpkins have appeared at Safeway. On Sept. 9, PCSD put its sports program on hold until Monday, Sept. 13, “out of an abundance of caution” due to Covid. Effective Sept. 13, all PCSD students must wear masks in the school buildings.



Arraignments

Andrew Jay Joseph Menicucci pleaded not guilty to third degree arson, a Category D felony. The alleged arson took place in Imlay, NV, on Aug. 9, 2021 and involved vegetation behind the Travel Center of America.

If the State proves its case, the defendant faces the possibility of one to four years in prison and fines up to $5,000. The judge also has the option of granting probation. 

Judge Shirley set a mediation conference for Nov. 18. He scheduled the trial for Jan. 10-12, 2022.

Cynthia Ann Robbins, 51, passed a court-ordered drug test before her arraignment hearing. She pleaded guilty to possessing a controlled substance, methamphetamine on June 6, 2021, in Lovelock.  The Category E felony carries a penalty of one to four years in prison and fines up to $5,000. 

The prosecution and defense jointly recommended a suspended sentence with formal probation.

“If I don’t get probation, I will be going prison, correct?” Robbins asked the judge.

“Correct,” he said. He explained that he’d weigh the joint recommendation but retains sentencing discretion within the bounds of the law.

Robbins returns to court for sentencing on Nov. 1. 



Richard Michael Lothspeich, 45, retained Reno attorney Justin E. Oakes. The defendant pleaded guilty to obtaining money by false pretenses. The Category D felony is punishable by 12- 120 months in prison. 

The events occurred on Dec. 17, 2018 and Feb. 6, 2019 in Lovelock.

Lothspeich also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obtain money by false pretenses, a gross misdemeanor punishable by a year in jail and fines up to $2,000.

The DA’s Office and Oakes jointly recommended probation for 12 months with payment of approximately $71, 000 in restitution.

According to the terms of the plea agreement, if the defendant pays the debt in full, he can withdraw his guilty plea to the more serious count, the D felony. The gross misdemeanor conviction would stand, along with its underlying sentence of one year in jail, a deterrent to noncompliance.

The attorneys asked to continue the sentencing for one year. Lothspeich would pay restitution directly to the court before the hearing. As a gesture of good faith, he came prepared with a cashier’s check for $4,000, said Oakes.

The judge set the sentencing for Sept. 19, 2022.



Mark Anthony Ramos, 28, pleaded guilty to DUI, third offense. Ramos was convicted of the same offense twice in the past seven years and is still on probation for the second DUI from two months ago. The DA’s office supports his application for a diversionary sentence for the Category E felony, if eligible.

The diversionary sentence would include a six-month house arrest portion, employment allowed. If Ramos completes the three-to-five-year program, the offense will be amended to a second misdemeanor DUI. If he fails, he’ll go to prison for one to six years. “It’s pass or fail,” explained the judge.

The judge sentences Ramos on Nov. 1. In the meantime he’ll attend the Pershing County drug court program. He is currently prohibited from driving.



Other hearings

Jeannette Irene Chamberlain from Rock Springs, Wyoming, participated in her probation violation hearing by telephone. She denied some of the allegations but admitted to others, including alcohol use. She’s on a three-year diversion for DUI.

The attorneys and judge agreed that they needed Chamberlain’s supervising officer to take part in the hearing by telephone to provide a more detailed analysis. They rescheduled the hearing for the next law and motion date in two weeks.



In Feb. 2021, the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office booked James Ernest Burrows, 56, for domestic battery by strangulation, a category C felony. If the State proves the charges, Burrows faces the possibility of up to six years in prison. Probation is available at the court’s discretion.

After a settlement hearing with Judge Janet Berry, Burrows signed a guilty plea agreement which expires on Sept. 20.

The defendant’s attorney asked for a continuance so he could review audio recordings. Burrows may proceed with the settlement or opt to go to trial. The judge scheduled the next hearing for Sept. 20.

The Division of Parole and Probation is seeking a dishonorable discharge from probation for Terrell Grant Callao-George. The defendant’s probation expired on Jun. 6, 2021, but there were some issues with the filing process. 

The judge set a violation hearing for Sept. 20. He is requiring both Callao-George and probation on officer Hill to attend. If the defendant loses, he won’t be remanded to custody to serve the underlying sentence. However, he will be dishonorably discharged, a red flag to any future sentencing judge.