Roland Remillong faced arraignment on home invasion charges last Monday.
Roland Remillong faced arraignment on home invasion charges last Monday.

On July 1, 2020, several criminal justice reforms went into effect. They’re part of Nevada’s Assembly Bill 236 (AB236), signed into law by Governor Steve Sisolak last year. 

The legislation aims to lower penalties for nonviolent crimes and increase access to diversion and treatment programs, especially for drug offenses.

On Monday, July 6, the 11th Judicial Court applied the new regulations for the first time, taking care to follow the letter and spirit of the law.

Another new mandate also affected the courtroom. Last month the governor issued a mandatory face- covering policy for all Nevadans and visitors.

The defendants, lawyers, court reporter, bailiff and others wore masks. In the interest of communication, the judge did not.



Arraignments

Joshua Roland Remillong, 38, pleaded guilty to home invasion. 

The category B felony is the second- highest level of offense in the state, punishable by up to ten years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

Remillong admitted to breaking through the front door of an occupied Lovelock home on Mar. 15, 2020.

“I trespassed on somebody’s property,” he said. “Once I entered the building, I realized it was occupied.”

In exchange for the guilty plea, DDA Todd Banks agreed to drop a pending justice court case. Remillong will pay restitution for the cost of the door.

Steve Cochran noted that Remillong had no past convictions, making him eligible for probation. Judge Jim Shirley accepted the guilty plea and set the sentencing hearing for Sept. 9.

DDA Banks plans to show a short video clip at the hearing.

The judge reminded the defendant to keep in touch with his attorney. The Division of Parole and Probation, represented by Lisa Brannon via a conference call, will prepare a presentencing investigation report. The judge explained that the document would include a personal history and other information to help him make a sentencing decision.

“You’re your own best advocate,” he told the defendant.

Frederick Aletine Goodenough III, 29, faced arraignment for the unlawful use of a controlled substance, methamphetamine. 

He pleaded guilty to the Category E felony. In exchange for the guilty plea,  the DA’s Office will not oppose Goodenough’s application for a 453 diversion program, if eligible.

Steve Cochran requested a diversion program on his client’s behalf. The judge ordered the defendant to begin attending the Pershing County drug court while waiting for his sentencing and eligibility hearing. It is scheduled for Aug. 3.

Other legal cases

The 11th Judicial Court rescheduled several hearings. Patrick Valatino Mitchell, Brandy Summer Rodriguez and Amy Christine Fritz will appear in court on Aug. 3.



Jacob Edward Scilacci’s review hearing was rescheduled for Oct. 5. His attorney, Steve Cochran, needs more details on restitution.



The judge allowed Brenda Pinkston to formally withdraw two 2005 felony guilty pleas. Pinkston pleaded guilty to two gross misdemeanors. Judge Shirley sentenced her to time served. She may opt to have the record sealed.



Justin James O’Kelley took part in his review hearing through a conference call. He requested a transfer to Elko County to continue his probation and attend drug court. The judge granted his request. He is currently an inpatient at a drug rehabilitation facility in Elko. 

 

On Monday, July 6, several defendants faced sentencing in the 11th Judicial Court, presided over by Judge Jim Shirley.

Terrell Grant Callao-George, 25, came to court from jail for a sentencing hearing. Last month, he pleaded guilty to one gross misdemeanor count of battering a public official. Callao-George faced up to a year in jail. The crime occurred on Amhurst Avenue in Lovelock on Mar. 27, 2020. According to court records, the defendant did not use a weapon or inflict severe bodily harm.

Steve Cochran argued that his client “has been in a position of mentorship and leadership before.” He provided a letter from a family member that attested to those characteristics. “We want to get back on that track,” Cochran said. He asked Judge Jim Shirley to suspend the sentence and grant probation. He also asked the judge to order George into treatment for anger management and substance abuse.

“We don’t condone battery on law enforcement, but at some point, you can’t treat law enforcement as if they are ten to 20 times more important than the average person. Generally speaking, people don’t spend 103 days in custody for committing a battery against “the average Joe Blow,” he said.

In Todd Bank’s estimation, George had already squandered several breaks. He pointed to what he called a “disturbing pattern of behavior.” He recommended jail time with 103 days credit for time served.

“The defendant rolled not one but two law enforcement officials who showed up to assist him. Rather than taking him into custody, they were trying to contact the tribal authorities so he could make it home,” said Banks.

The judge gave George 364 days in jail, suspended, with 103 days credit for time served. He’ll be on probation for one year, the maximum term for a gross misdemeanor under the new law. He is subject to random urinalysis. 

To remain free, George must obtain a mental health evaluation within 60 days and abide by its terms and conditions.



Delson Leon Williams was not present for his sentencing hearing. Cochran informed the judge that Williams had turned himself into the Washoe County jail on June 27 for a different offense. He’ll be released on Aug. 6. The judge rescheduled the hearing for Aug. 17.



Probation violations

Joseph Reith Grangruth was not present for his probation violation hearing. According to his attorney, Kyle Swanson, Grangruth has moved out of state. He called Swanson’s office and asked to appear in court through a conference call. “I told my staff to tell him, ‘No, not on a probation violation. You have to physically be there.’ Previously, the judge ordered a bench warrant. He asked Swanson to check to make sure it’s still active.