Pershing County’s 11th Judicial Court met on Monday, Apr. 5. Judge Jim Shirley presided. Steve Cochran, Kyle Swanson and Todd Leventhal defended clients. 

DA Bryce Shields and DDA Todd Banks argued on behalf of the State of Nevada. Lisa Brannon represented the Division of Parole and Probation by telephone. 

Outside, cherry trees bloomed and Lovelock’s students enjoyed the beginning of spring break.


The court postponed Tyler Anthony Palmer’s arraignment until the next law and motion day in mid-May. He is represented by Kyle Swanson.

On Aug. 23, 2020, the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office booked Ricardo Manuel Ortega, 26, on charges of burglary, theft and trespassing. He did not show up for his arraignment on Oct. 19, 2020, so Judge Shirley issued a no-bail bench warrant. 

On Monday, Ortega came to court from jail, represented by Swanson. Ortega pleaded guilty to one count of automotive burglary. Given the defendant’s clean record, he is eligible for mandatory probation, which the DA’s Office and defense attorney jointly recommend.

The judge will sentence Ortega on June 7. He authorized Ortega’s release from jail with a drug testing protocol in place.

On Mar. 8, 2021, the PCSO booked Michael Anthony Carroll for multiple charges, including resisting a public officer, intimidating a public officer and battery upon an officer. Monday, he came to court from jail and pleaded not guilty to three gross misdemeanor counts. The judge set the trial for July 12, 13 and 14.

On Feb. 5, 2021, the PCSO booked Andrew Raymond Emerich for possessing a deadly weapon. Monday, he denied the allegations. The judge set the trial for July 26 and 27. The State is waiting for bodycam footage from the Lovelock Police Department.


At his arraignment on Feb. 1, 2021, Shawnon Michael Parkinson, from Calif., pleaded guilty to distributing controlled substances at Burning Man in 2016. He retained Todd Leventhal, of Clark County, as his defense attorney.

Monday, Parkinson came to the 11th Judicial Court to face sentencing. The judge gave him a suspended sentence of 24 – 60 months with three years of probation through the interstate compact.

Probation violation

Travis Clayton Nichols of Fernley came to court from jail and admitted to violating his probation. His legal problems began in Pershing County in May 2017 when law enforcement stopped him with multiple controlled substances in his car along with scales and ledgers.  That November, Judge Shirley granted Nichols probation.

On Jan. 30, 2021, the Lyon County Sheriff’s Department charged Nichols with possessing controlled substances and paraphernalia. Monday, Swanson asked the judge to reinstate Nichols on probation with the requirement that he complete drug court in Lyon County, where he was granted a diversion opportunity.

Nichols read from a prepared statement before the judge passed sentence.

“In the past year, I’ve suffered the loss of three grandparents, which had a huge impact on my life. I’ve also been blessed, got married and got my kids back. Just today, I found out I have another on the way,” he said. “I’m asking for the chance to prove to you, my family and myself that I will attain the tools to fight my addiction.”

The judge placed Nichols on court-supervised probation with 264 days credit for time served. The defendant will complete drug court in Fernley, where he now lives. 

Other hearings

Daniel Leroy McGuinness came to court for a pre-trial hearing. He denies allegations of causing psychological harm to an older adult (over 60). The State also accuses the defendant of entering two businesses to rob them. 

He faces an additional felony charge of trying to enter a residence for the same reason. Finally, he stands accused of malicious destruction of property, a gross misdemeanor.

“In light of our mediation hearing last week, it does not appear Mr. McGuinness is going to resolve this matter with the State of Nevada,” said Cochran. He added that Judge Janet J. Berry raised competency concerns. The judge put the trial on hold until Lakes Crossing evaluates the defendant’s competency.

Timothy Lee Bradley came to court from jail represented by Cochran. In March, Bradley walked away from Agape House, a group home placement. Cochran consulted with Agape House and reports they are willing to take Bradley back. The attorney submitted an order to transport and an acceptance letter. He believes that Bradley is now in a better position to succeed.

The judge reinstated Bradley on probation on the condition that he complete the program.

The court held a review hearing on Noel Wayne Moore. Lisa Brannon reported that he is doing well at Ridge House, a treatment facility in Reno.