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Lattin status hearing continued

By Steve Ranson Nevada News Group
Wesley Lattin walks into court last week.
Steve Ranson

Tenth District Court Judge Thomas Stockard set April 14 to continue a status hearing and arraignment for Wesley Lattin of Fallon on charges of sexual assault on a juvenile in the early 2000s and failure to appear for a court date in 2005.

Lattin’s public defender, Charles Woodman, participated in last week’s hearing telephonically. Stockard said Woodman was practicing self-quarantine because of a family member who had returned from Africa.

Lattin first appeared in New River Township Justice Court in late February on a charge of failure to appear for a jury trial, a category D felony, and made his first appearance in District Court on March 9. He is being held without bail.

Stockard asked Woodman if he has recently talked further with Lattin about the charges. Woodman said he had spoken with his client the day before the status hearing. Stockard had discussed his employment with the Churchill County District Attorney’s office in 2005, the year Lattin did not appear in court.

“I was in the DA’s office with a supervisory role,” Stockard said. “I have no recollection of personally handling this case.”

Stockard said he wanted to  discuss the situation with Woodman and Lattin to see if there would be a conflict. Woodman said he discussed the situation with Lattin, and both feel Stockard can handled the compliant fairly.

“I see no problem with this,” Lattin said when asked.

Deputy District Attorney Chelsea Sanford discussed the penalties for sexual assault which ranged from life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years or a term of 20 years with the eligibility of parole after five years.

Both Sanford and Woodman have been researching the penalties Lattin may face because sentences were changed with every update of Nevada law. Stockard said the court also did its research and found the penalties became more severe each time the law was amended. He said the penalty for not appearing in court could result in a jail sentence of one year.

Woodman asked for a delay to determine the correct status that would apply in this case. He said he would also talk with Sanford to see if there’s a chance of moving up the status hearing.

“Hopefully, we can reach a resolution short of a trial,” Woodman said.

Furthermore, Sanford said Lattin has not been formally arraigned on not appearing in court in 2005.

Lattin, who had eluded authorities for almost 15 years, was sighted on his sister’s residence northeast of Fallon and arrested Feb. 21 on a warrant. Churchill County Sheriff Richard Hickox said the tip from the U.S Marshals revealed Lattin was living in an underground bunker.