Charges expected in Judge Tatro threats case

Carson City law enforcement will seek charges against a suspect in threats against a Carson City judge dating to 2012, according to a Wednesday media release.

The Carson City Sheriff’s Office said it will seek charges against John Aston, 74, in the case involving Carson City Justice Court Judge John Tatro, according to the release.

In December 2012, Tatro’s residence was the target of shots fired through his front door in the early morning. In December 2013, Tatro received death threats on a Christmas card in the mail that said “You Will Die.” In May 2015, a firebomb was placed at the judge’s residence, however it failed to ignite.

Aston was initially brought to Carson City Sheriff’s attention on Feb. 1, when sheriff’s detectives and Department of Public Safety investigators received information an inmate at the Washoe County Detention Center was being held on a 2011 contempt of court warrant ($5,000 bail) out of Carson City. The “tip” suggested the suspect be interviewed regarding the Tatro investigation.

Carson City and DPS investigators transported Aston to the Carson City Sheriff’s Office, where information was provided to the investigating task force. Aston provided no substantial information to the investigators. Aston has remained in custody on charges stemming from the 2011 arrest on weapons charges. He’s currently being held at the Carson City Jail on $250,000 bail.

Wednesday, Carson City Sheriff’s detectives received the most recent analysis of evidence submitted to the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab.

As a result of DNA evidence retrieved and a match confirmed, detectives submitted the case to the Carson City District Attorney’s Office for the filing of additional charges against Aston. The charges recommended included aggravated stalking, fourth-degree arson, and discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling. Tatro is the listed victim.

During the past 18 months, an extensive effort entailed officers going door to door throughout the region, and in some cases to California, to inspect DMV registered vehicles that had any similarity to the suspect vehicle that had been identified, according to the release. These contacts often resulted in interviewing the registered owners. Ultimately, as a result the tip provided on Feb. 1, the vehicle was located inside a long term rental storage locker in Sparks. Since Feb. 1, investigators have been examining evidence retrieved from the locker, and other locations, that directly linked Aston to the offenses.

Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong said in the release he expects that District Attorney Jason Woodbury will review the case summary and file a criminal complaint against Aston within days.


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