Man to plead in coffee shop shooting |

Man to plead in coffee shop shooting

by F.T. Norton

Midway through the second day of a preliminary hearing, a 20-year-old Carson City man agreed Monday to plead to five of 41 charges related to a January crime spree – which included the attempted armed robbery of a coffee shop and the theft of more than a dozen guns from a hardware store.

Jermaine Charles Hoffman told Pro-Tem Justice of the Peace Thomas Armstrong that he understood what it meant to waive the remainder of his preliminary hearing and plead to charges of felony robbery with the use of a deadly weapon, battery with a deadly weapon, the burglary of the True Value Hardware in which 19 guns were stolen, and a burglary at Carson-Tahoe Jewelers.

Hoffman’s attorney Kay Ellen Armstrong had presented her client with the plea agreement during the morning’s proceedings, but Hoffman said in court he was unsure what do to.

After lunch Kay Ellen Armstrong motioned the court for a continuance.

“I think my client is losing his competency,” she said. “I have seen his mental status change. He has gone from tearful to laughing and he said he is hearing voices. He seems paranoid. He seems delusional.

“I’m in a quandary myself. I don’t want to see this kid hanging himself downstairs (in the jail).”

District Attorney Neil Rombardo called Hoffman’s claims a “delay tactic, ruse.”

Rombardo pointed to an evaluation at Lakes Crossing in which doctors found Hoffman competent.

Judge Thomas Armstrong decided the evaluation was enough to continue the proceedings.

Then, just after Carson City Sheriff’s Detective Daniel Gonzales began to testify, Hoffman slid a note over to Kay Ellen Armstrong stating he was willing to take the plea bargain, she said.

“I think this is a good resolution for the community,” said Rombardo following the proceeding. “Mr. Hoffman faces a long prison term for his actions.”

Hoffman will next appear in Carson City District Court on July 13. He faces up to 60 years in prison when sentenced. He remains in jail on $100,000 ba