Gomez sentenced to six years in prison | NevadaAppeal.com
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Gomez sentenced to six years in prison

by Sheila Gardner
Nevada Appeal News Service

With his three young daughters in the courtroom, 26-year-old David Gomez was sentenced Tuesday to six years in Nevada State Prison for eluding an officer who believed the suspect was trying to hit him with a van.

Gomez has a long history of criminal behavior, including a prior stint in prison for methamphetamine sales.

He told District Judge Dave Gamble he had turned his life over to God and would keep that promise no matter what happened in court.

“I don’t know why I do what I do,” Gomez said. “I asked God to bless my life. I know He will. I won’t always be in bondage. If I can keep one of those three little kids back there from using drugs, it will be worth it.”

Gomez was arrested Aug. 23 after he was kicked out of a drug treatment program in South Lake Tahoe for rules violations.

He was awaiting pickup by Chief Probation Officer Doug Swalm so he could be returned to Douglas County Jail when he fled.

Douglas County Deputy Michael Matthews said in court Tuesday he and Deputy Brian Auchenbach believed Gomez tried to run them over when they caught up to him driving a van.

“I truly feel Mr. Gomez intended to hit myself and Deputy Auchenbach,” Matthews said. “He looked right at us as he turned the vehicle toward us. He knew exactly where we were standing.”

Matthews said Gomez was lucky to be alive after the van overturned when the tires were punctured with spike strips set across the road to slow him down.

Matthews asked Gamble to give Gomez the maximum sentence.

“I have two reasons,” Matthews said. “One is his intent to hit me and Deputy

Auchenbach with the van. The second is that if he is serious about quitting using, prison is an excellent opportunity to isolate yourself from drugs.”

Gamble said he had no option but to send Gomez back to prison.

“I can’t magically discern whether the change you describe in your letter is true or false,” Gamble said. “It doesn’t change my duty here. There isn’t anything I can do but send you to prison.”

He is eligible for parole in 18 months.