Suspect in Tatro harassment case convicted of weapons charges
John Thomas Ashton will be sentenced Aug. 1 in the case that eventually resulted in his arrest on charges he had been threatening and stalking Justice of the Peace John Tatro for more than four years.
Ashton, 73, was pulled over in January 2011 by a Carson City deputy sheriff who found he had a loaded .44-special revolver in his waistband under a coat. A search of his vehicle discovered a short-barreled shotgun along with three other firearms and five coffee cans of ammunition.
He was arrested but released on bail and never showed up to face those charges.
Ashton was finally apprehended in February of this year by which time unrelated evidence resulted in him being charged in the Tatro case as well as the outstanding weapons charges.
During a four-day trial this past week, jurors found Ashton guilty of two charges: carrying concealed weapon and possession of a short-barreled shotgun. Jurors deliberated just 45 minutes before returning the verdict, according to the Carson City District Attorney’s Office.
Ashton could get up to four years on the concealed weapons charge and five years for possession of a short-barreled shotgun — a potential nine-year prison sentence.
At the same time, he faces a preliminary hearing July 10 on charges stemming from the Tatro case.
That case started in December 2012 when some one fired a rifle round through the judge’s front door late at night. That was followed two years later by a Christmas card to Tatro inscribed, “You will die,” and then in May 2015 when someone tried to light several milk jugs filled with alcohol on fire at the judge’s home.
DNA from the milk jugs and the Christmas card was recorded by investigators.
Ashton faces felony aggravated stalking and Category B felony of discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling. That second charge alone carries a potential 15 years in prison.