Carson man may change plea in casino case |

Carson man may change plea in casino case

Maggie O'Neill

MINDEN – A 27-year-old Carson City man who previously pleaded not guilty for alleged felony crimes at Harveys Resort Casino in South Lake Tahoe may change his plea.

Jason Lawrence is charged by the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office with burglary, theft, forgery and conspiracy for reportedly stealing about $400,000 from Harveys with another man, 22-year-old Stephen Johnson of Dayton.

Lawrence and Reno-attorney Mark Picker were scheduled for a change-of-plea hearing on Monday before Ninth Judicial District Court Judge Michael Gibbons.

Neither Lawrence nor Picker appeared because of a scheduling conflict for Picker. The hearing was continued until April 26.

At a Nov. 3, 2003, arraignment, Lawrence pleaded not guilty.

Attorney Calvin Dunlap represents Johnson. A trial date had been set for Aug. 17 for both men.

The charges indicate the alleged criminal activity occurred between Dec. 31, 2002, and June 1, 2003, when Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Lawrence and Johnson.

Court files show both men were released on bail shortly after their arrests. Lawrence is out on $125,000 bail, and Johnson is free on $130,000 bail.

Lawrence reportedly signed off on chip markers and gave them to Johnson, who would gamble with some of the chips and cash out the rest, according to court documents.

On May 31, investigators said they taped the men committing some of the purported crimes at the casino.

Contact Maggie O’Neill at or (775) 782-5121.