Charges dismissed against two in pizza-driver ambush

Charges were dismissed Friday against two of three men charged in an ambush on a pizza delivery driver last week.

Assistant District Attorney Gerald Gardner said in Carson City Justice Court that Brian Robert Hobbs, 24, and Thomas Wilson, 19, would not be prosecuted for conspiracy to commit robbery.

"There is not enough evidence to link Brian Hobbs and Wilson (to the robbery)," said Gardner. "All the evidence is based on accomplice testimony."

Under Nevada law, accomplice testimony must be corroborated with other evidence that, without the aid of the testimony of the accomplice, would connect the defendant to the crime.

Hobbs and Wilson were arrested May 22 after a pizza delivery driver reported he'd been punched in the face and had four extra-large pizzas stolen when he went to make a delivery at what turned out to be a vacant home.

A deputy remembered driving down a nearby street shortly after the assault and had noticed two young men walking along the street carrying pizza bags.

When officers contacted Levi Whitehead, 21, and an unnamed juvenile, the two allegedly admitted plotting and carrying out the ambush. They sent police to a Spear Street apartment where Hobbs and Wilson were, and where officers found the pizza hidden under the bathroom sink, according to the arrest report.

Prosecutor Gardner asked Justice of the Peace Robey Willis to dismiss the charges with prejudice, meaning that if evidence subsequently arises connecting the men to the robbery, charges could be filed.

"You just about got your fingers burned on this one," Willis told Hobbs. "I'll remember you and I'm sure the DA will remember you if you get in trouble again. Stay straight."

Willis had similar words for Wilson.

"Stay out of trouble," he told the teen who has one prior charge of a minor consuming alcohol. "And stay away from people that do get in trouble like this."

A criminal complaint filed against Whitehead charges him with conspiracy to commit robbery and robbery. Gardner said that charges were also filed against the juvenile defendant with the juvenile courts.

Both Wilson and Hobbs were released from custody.

Contact reporter F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.

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