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Drug suspect seeks rehab program

by Sheila Gardner
Nevada Appeal News Service

A 49-year-old Topaz Ranch Estates man, arrested on drug charges when officers responded to investigate his mother’s death, is to attend a residential substance abuse treatment program.

On Wednesday, East Fork Justice Jim EnEarl continued proceedings against Joseph Roybal until Sept. 15 to allow him to attend the Vitality Center on an out-patient basis from Douglas County Jail.

Roybal was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful use of a controlled substance, methamphetamine.

He was arrested July 19 after deputies found the body of his mother, Jeannette Roybal-Granados, 79, on the back porch of the house they shared in Topaz Ranch Estates.

He has not been charged in connection with her death.

An autopsy performed last week by the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office was inconclusive as to cause of death and toxicology reports were pending.

The autopsy indicated time of death as 24-48 hours before the body was discovered, meaning Granados died between 6 a.m. July 17 and

6 a.m. July 18.

She was seen alive July 16 by a neighbor.

Lawyer Tod Young asked Wednesday for the continuance so Roybal could undergo the treatment program. Roybal, on unpaid leave from the Douglas County School District where he is employed as a head custodian, is paying for the program with his insurance.

He is in Douglas County Jail on $5,500 bail.

According to court documents, Roybal called for medical assistance early July 19 when he said he found his mother’s body on the back porch.

His account of the last time he saw her alive varied from July 16 to July 18. He was arrested when deputies allegedly found drug paraphernalia and observed him to be under the influence of a controlled substance.

On his way to jail Roybal reportedly told deputies that he had been on a three-day methamphetamine binge.

Originally Roybal told deputies he was getting ready for work early July 19 and he couldn’t find his mother in her bed. He said he discovered her on the back porch, thought she was alive but unresponsive, and covered her with a blanket before he called for help.

In later accounts, Roybal said he didn’t kill his mother. He said he left the residence July 17 and panicked when he discovered her body two days later.