On Monday, Oct. 5, Joshua Jeremiah Eggers, 30, came to Pershing County’s 11th Judicial Court to face sentencing for involuntary manslaughter, a Category D felony.  

“On July 11, me and my brother went out drinking and got in an altercation,” Eggers explained at his arraignment several months ago. He’s been in jail for 264 days.

“I fired a warning shot at him, but it hit him and killed him.” The fatal shooting occurred at their mother’s house in Imlay, NV. The victim was Michael Eggers.

At sentencing, defense attorney David Houston presented the sequence of events. It started with the brothers getting kicked out of a Winnemucca bar and a pizzeria. As they were driving the freeway home to Imlay, Michael began punching Joshua.  According to court records, Joshua Eggers discharged a firearm, and ejected Michael from the car.

“Joshua continued to the family home and attempted to pack his belongings so he could escape the wrath of his brother and get back to his mining job in eastern Nevada,” said Houston. However, a third party gave Michael a ride home. 

Michael kicked the door down and continued throwing punches, said the attorney. After Joshua fired the 45 caliber weapon that killed his brother, he tried to render aid.

“He advised his mother to contact law enforcement and medical,” said Houston. “He attempted to stop the bleeding.” 

Houston noted that Joshua Eggers had no previous convictions and had served his country in combat. Also, he was a model prisoner and had a job lined up.

“Everything about the defendant says you will never see him again,” Houston told Judge Jim Shirley. “Homicide statistically has the lowest recidivism rate of any crime. There is no reason to believe Mr. Eggers poses a threat to the community. One specific act does not define a person.”

DA Bryce Shields agreed with Houston but added, “Nonetheless, it’s something he did and there are consequences attached to it.” Shields argued for a suspended sentence of 19- 48 months, probation and conditions including abstention from alcohol. The defendant and victim each had at least 12 alcoholic drinks the night of the tragedy, he noted.

Joshua Eggers choked on his words. 

“I take full responsibility for my actions that day,” he said. “I did not intend to kill him. I apologize to my mother and family. I didn’t want to do it.”

Eggers listened with his eyes downcast as his mother gave a sworn victim impact statement. “I just want Joshua to come home,” she said through tears.

“No matter what I do, you’re going to live with this the rest of your life,” the judge told Eggers. “The biggest problem here is alcohol. Had you not been drinking, there’s a likelihood this would never have happened. There’s a reason why the legislature says it’s illegal to possess a firearm if you’re intoxicated.”

He gave Eggers 19-48 months, suspended, with two years of probation, the maximum allowed for a Category D felony. Eggers must abstain from alcohol, marijuana and controlled substances as monitored by random drug testing. He must also get a psychological evaluation and follow its recommendations.

Gabriel Rayshawn Bourne, 20, came to court in custody represented by Kyle Swanson. Bourne faced charges of violating the probation he received from Judge Shirley two years ago. At that time, he admitted to battering his uncle with a baseball bat, a deadly weapon. He did not inflict bodily harm. 

“You say it was a warning swing,” said the judge at the arraignment in 2018. “But sometimes warning swings miss and you connect. Had you connected with your uncle’s head, we’d be having a different conversation right now.” He gave Bourne 24-60 months, suspended, with up to five years of probation. 

As a condition of his probation, the defendant agreed to live his grandmother, for a specified time. He also agreed to follow the law.

Fast forward to Monday, Oct. 5. The judge explained the possible consequences if the State proved the allegations in the violation report prepared by the Division of Parole and Probation. 

The report was thick. It contained numerous charges, but one stood out. The defendant committed another violent act while on probation.

On Sept. 18, 2020, a Washoe County court convicted Bourne of attempted domestic battery with substantial bodily harm, a C felony. They sentenced him to two to five years in prison.

DDA Banks noted that at 20 years old, the defendant had multiple convictions for violent acts. Swanson argued for reinstatement in light of the prison sentence from Washoe County.

“I have empathy with you based upon the way you were raised and your family situation,” the judge told Bourne. “But when I put you on probation, I hoped you do well at your grandmother’s house. Instead, you quit residing with her and committed another violent crime.” 

He imposed the underlying sentence of 24-60 months. It will run concurrently with the Washoe County sentence. 

Bourne has 119 days of credit for time served.