DA’s charges dismissed
A judge dismissed a felony charge against the Carson City chief deputy district attorney on Monday, saying, “I think we owe (her) an apology.”
Anne Langer, 45, wiped away tears as visiting Judge Mark Gibbons dismissed the charge.
“It looks to me like she was trying to do her job,” said Gibbons, a Las Vegas district judge. “I see no evidence whatsoever that she committed a crime.”
First, he said, the statute of limitations had expired on the 3-year-old charge. In addition, he saw no criminal conduct in what she had done.
“It’s been very very painful,” Langer said outside the courthouse. “I am very pleased to see the system that I have devoted my life to has worked.”
She was accused by grand jury indictment June 21 of intimidating Jaime Bustamante’s testimony Nov. 17, 1997, by telling him she would arrest him for perjury and he had a right to plead the Fifth Amendment.
If convicted, Langer could have been sentenced to one to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Bustamante was called as a witness in a case against Ron Weddell, who was accused of assault with a deadly weapon for shooting at Bustamante. Weddell said he was trying to place Bustamante under citizen’s arrest for allegedly running down an employee the previous evening in his construction yard.
Special prosecutor Terri Roeser, who oversaw the Carson City grand jury that indicted Langer, argued the statute of limitations had not expired because the Weddell case was still active. In the end, the judge sided with the defense.
“I am pleased that the judge addressed both the technical issue and the issue of whether there was evidence that a crime was committed,” said Langer’s boss, District Attorney Noel Waters. “I am really upset by what I believe was a disservice to the grand jurors and this community by Terri Roeser.”
Waters said the indictment of Langer should never have happened.
“It was basically a product of a skewed perspective that was introduced and presented to the grand jury by the special prosecutor. She had an agenda and went full speed ahead without any regard to the true facts.
“In my opinion, and I think the transcript shows it, Terri Roeser was far from fair.”
Roeser was assigned to the grand jury, a product of a petition circulated by Weddell, by Carson City district judges Michael Griffin and Bill Maddox. Roeser was kept on as the prosecutor in the case against Langer and the two others indicted on felony charges by the grand jury, brothers Jaime and Johnny Bustamante.
“We have always believed in Anne’s innocence,” said Langer’s attorney, Scott Freeman. “This should be a warning that just because someone is charged you don’t always presume they are guilty.”
Roeser said she doesn’t expect to file an appeal to the ruling.
Langer has been on paid administrative leave from her $80,000-a-year job since the June indictment. She said she will return to work today.