Geoff Dornan

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August 6, 2014
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Lane trial to finally to begin on Aug. 11

The trial of David Paul Lane on charges he threatened the lives of four different people at the Olive Garden restaurant will start Aug. 11.

District Judge James Wilson Tuesday denied the public defender’s latest request for a continuance — a motion ironically filed a year to the day after the incident at the restaurant.

The motion filed by Deputy Public Defender Scott Walker declined to explain exactly why the defense needs more time, asking instead for an ex-parte hearing without the public or prosecution in the room because the reasons “relate to defense strategy.”

Deputy DA Troy Jordan filed the opposition to further delays charging the motion “is brought in bad faith to delay the trial yet again and to delay justice to the victims in this matter.”

Prosecutors argued the defense has had plenty of time to prepare both for Thursday’s hearing on motions to suppress some of the evidence and the trial and that with two public defenders assigned to the task, has no excuse for further delays.

Wilson also denied the motions by defense counsel Marcie Ryba and Walker for more time to prepare for Thursday’s hearing on motions to suppress evidence collected in the case.

They had argued their expert witnesses weren’t available for the Aug. 11 trial date.

Wilson made it clear the trial is not going to be delayed again, telling both sides they have precisely three days starting Monday to get it done.

Lane is charged with pulling a gun and threatening employees at the Olive Garden restaurant July 21, 2013. He faces four counts of assault with a deadly weapon for brandishing a semi-automatic pistol and pointing it at restaurant manager April Vlach and Chef Daniel Cewinski and two other employees — Erica Olivas and Amanda Feratis.

Each count carries a maximum of six years in prison so, if convicted and given the maximum sentence, he could be facing 24 years behind bars.

When Lane showed up at the restaurant, he demanded to see the manager and she met with him but said he really didn’t say why he was upset, instead demanding to go into the kitchen.

After he pointed the gun at her, Cewinski confronted Lane telling him he couldn’t go into the kitchen.

At that point, he said Lane held the weapon next to his head and cocked it asking if he wanted to die.

After he left the restaurant, Olivas saw his car and gave deputies the license plate number. The Douglas County deputy met him at his house where a struggle ensued as he fought with the deputy.

Lane pleaded guilty to resisting a police officer with a weapon and has been housed in the Northern Nevada Correctional Center since February serving a 1-3 year sentence.

He was seen by the Parole Board in May and is eligible for release on the Douglas County charge Sept. 17.

His case is further complicated by the fact when he pleaded guilty in Douglas County District Court, he basically confessed to the Carson City crimes.

According to Jordan and assistant DA Mark Krueger’s opposition, he told the Douglas County judge: “I committed the crime here because I had just committed crimes in Carson City.”

The defense has already lost a bid to bar the pistol from evidence. Wilson ruled there was probable cause to seize the weapon when Lane was arrested.

That weapon ties Lane to the restaurant because the markings on the bullet he ejected onto the floor match its ejector lever.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Aug 8, 2014 06:32PM Published Aug 6, 2014 12:43AM Copyright 2014 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.