A Carson City man waiting trial on charges of murder pleaded guilty Thursday to unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and drunken driving in a car theft two weeks ago.
Jaron Malone, 20, admitted drinking and driving and being involved in the theft of a car left idling at the Cherry Creek Apartments early on the morning of Jan. 16.
Malone was arrested after a businessman reported a vehicle speeding up Voltaire Canyon Road. When deputies went to investigate, Malone and a minor were seen standing around the overturned car. The two led officers on a short foot chase before being taken into custody.
A sentencing for the DUI charge is set for Feb. 14. Malone faces up to six months in jail. The gross misdemeanor charge of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail. No sentencing date has been set for that offense.
Malone is one of 10 people who stand accused of the 1998 motel-room beating death of Sammy Resendiz.
Resendiz, 25, was brutally beaten at the Round House Inn on Aug. 23, 1998, and suffered numerous broken bones and head trauma, before dying at the hospital a few hours later.
District Judge Michael Griffin has tentatively set the murder trial for July 22 for Frederick Fred, Dutchy, Boice Jr. and Malone in anticipation of a ruling.
Fellow defendants Julian Contreras, Clint Malone, Frederick Fred, Jessica Evans, Elvin Fred, Sylvia Fred and Michael Kizer are awaiting a trial date on the Resendiz murder while the Supreme Court rules on an appeal by the District Attorney's Office on a reduction of charges.
In 2000, then-district judge Michael Fondi reduced the original charge of first-degree murder to second-degree. District Attorney Noel Waters appealed this decision to the Nevada Supreme Court where attorneys for both sides argued their case in October.
Defense attorneys say the District Attorney's Office shouldn't be allowed to use the state's "felony murder" statute to escape having to prove premeditation and malice.
Waters told the court in October letting the defendants out of first-degree murder charges would violate what the Legislature intended and overturn 115 years of Nevada law.