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Mori handed prison sentence

Steve Puterski
sputerski@lahontanvalleynews.com
Marlene Mori

A Fallon woman who failed to appear for numerous court dates was sentenced Tuesday in District Court after a 15-month odyssey.

Marlene Mori was handed a 16-44 month prison sentence due in part to her actions throughout the past year after her initial arrest in December 2013. She pleaded guilty to one count of failure to stop at the signal of a peace officer.

Mori was arrested in Reno recently after skipping her sentencing hearing last month.

Her attorney, Scott Jamieson of Reno, detailed his client’s life as a hard-working adult who eventually saved enough money to open a small bar in Reno.

But after the death of Mori’s father, who Jamieson said were very close, Mori fell into heavy drug use, specifically methamphetamine.

Once addicted, Mori was out of control committing petty crimes in Nevada and California.

Her situation came to a head on Dec. 13, 2013, when Mori entered Walmart high on meth. According to Churchill County Deputy District Attorney Chelsea Sanford, Mori spent 10 hours inside the store shopping.

Store security noticed her prolonged stay and behavior and watched her leave after paying for numerous items. In the parking lot, however, Mori’s hallucinations manifested into yelling at trees and picking fights with cars, Sanford said.

Store security called police, who then followed Mori as she drove out of the parking lot. Once they attempted to pull her over, Mori fled.

She led authorities on a high-speed chase reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph through Fallon and then on to U.S. Highway 50 toward Lahontan Reservoir.

Sanford said Mori also crossed dividers and used a left-hand turning lane as a passing zone.

“She has a serious drug problem,” Sanford said.

Jamieson, meanwhile, presented Judge Tom Stockard with an alternative to prison.

The Reno lawyer said he secured a bed date at a facility in Palm Springs, Calif. The program consists of a 90-day in-patient program followed by 30 days of sober transition and 8 months of after care.

Mori, though, already failed one attempt at treatment when she entered and checked herself out of the Betty Ford Center in California last year.

Given her track record of failed treatment, several missed court dates and numerous subsequent arrests, Stockard levied the prison sentence.

In other court news —

A Fallon man pleaded guilty Tuesday in District Court to violating sex offender conditions.

Dominick Burtt entered the plea to one count of violation of condition of sex offender with lifetime supervision.

According to Burtt’s attorney, Jacob Sommer, his client was under the influence of a controlled substance, which is a violation.

Sommer asked for his client’s release, but was denied after Churchill County Chief Deputy District Attorney Lane Mills said Burtt has pending charges in Carson City for burglary and battery with a deadly weapon causing substantial bodily harm.

A Reno man arrested in connection with a counterfeit ring entered a guilty plea to one county of uttering a forged instrument last week in District Court.

Brian Shoemaker faces up to 364 days in the Churchill County Jail for the gross misdemeanor charge. He will be sentenced on May 19.

A No-bail bench warrants was issued for Reya Lynn Jorgensen who failed to appear for her hearing on Tuesday in District Court. A no-bail bench warrant was rescinded on Deanna Michelle Sullivan due to clerical mix-up,