Silvey agrees to plea deal in murder case

John Russell Silvey

John Russell Silvey

After a long, winding and bizarre course, Churchill County prosecutors may have secured a conviction.

John Silvey of Fallon, accused of killing his neighbor Michael Caudill, 41, in February 2012, has agreed to an Alford plea for second-degree murder, according to court documents. Silvey, though, can still opt out of the agreement because he has not appeared before a judge to be canvassed.

An Alford plea, meanwhile, is where a defendant does not admit the criminal act, but does not admit to all the facts. If Silvey stipulates to the plea deal, he faces a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 10 years or a definite term of 25 years with the possibility of parole after 10 years.

He refused to attend a hearing on May 28 and according to court documents, was on a 90-day silent protest. About two weeks prior to the hearing, Silvey met with his attorneys, Dave Neidert and Troy Jordan, which the two litigators said was a productive meeting.

Several days later, however, Silvey would not speak with Neidert about the case, which prompted Neidert to ask for the hearing to update Judge Robert Estes.

It is not the first time Silvey has acted in such a manner. Silvey has sent numerous letters to the LVN stating he would refuse “any and all emergency medical services” and renounced his citizenship from the United States.

Soon after Silvey was arrested, he went on a hunger strike and transported to Banner Churchill Community Hosptial on numerous occasions, which led to a court order allowing Churchill County Sheriff’s deputies and hospital staff to feed Silvey through an IV.

In addition to the hunger strike, Silvey was moved to a secured cell and placed on suicide watch. Two reports have certified his competency.

According to court files, the suspected murder was planned in advance. Silvey kept a video camera and took still photographs of Caudill’s residence dating back to June of 2010.

According to the police report, Silvey told deputies he shot his neighbor several times. When deputies entered the residence, they found Caudill propped up against a wall with three shots to his leg and one to the chest.

Silvey, though, claimed Caudill “beat and kicked him in the head,” although the sheriff’s report said Silvey showed no signs of injury.

Silvey is currently being held at the Churchill County Jail on $1 million bond.


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