Sentencing postponed for gasoline prank | NevadaAppeal.com

Sentencing postponed for gasoline prank

by Sheila Gardner
Nevada Appeal News Service

Judge Michael Gibbons continued sentencing until Monday for a 23-year-old Gardnerville Ranchos man convicted of mayhem for pouring gasoline on a man’s leg and setting it on fire as a prank.

Trent Clanton, who recently completed a regimental discipline program, agreed to the delay so he could obtain proof that the U.S. Marine Corps would accept him.

“Boot camp was excellent,” Clanton said. “I learned a lot about discipline and my alcoholism. I came away a much better person.”

Clanton and the 23-year-old victim – who did not know each other – were at a bonfire party April 1, 2007, in the Pine Nut Mountains.

Clanton was accused of pouring gasoline from a beer can and lighting the shoe of the victim at the party. The victim suffered second- and third-degree burns and nerve damage to his right leg.

The victim’s mother said Monday in court her son has severe scarring, endured five skin grafts and will have complications and poor circulation in his leg the rest of his life.

“He’s angry, but he’s moving on,” she said of her son.

Addressing Clanton, and a class of Douglas High School government students observing District Court, the woman said she understood the need to have fun.

“All you kids can have fun without hurting something,” she said.

“What you did was so stupid,” she said to Clanton. “You could have taken something away that could not be replaced.”

She said she appreciated that Clanton took responsibility.

Clanton apologized.

“I don’t blame him for being angry,” Clanton said. “If I was in his position, I’d be angry, too. I wish there was some way I could take it back.”

Clanton said he lost 35 pounds at boot camp and needed to lose 10 more to qualify for the Marines. He received the camp’s highest designation.

“The reason he did well and graduated with a gold cap is because he followed orders,” said Tod Young, Clanton’s lawyer. “The Marine Corps is the perfect environment for him. He will be a good Marine.”

Young said Clanton had no intention of hurting the victim, he thought he would give him a hotfoot that would be a joke.

“You do appear to be remorseful and sincere,” Gibbons said. “(The victim) can’t do any of these things now. You will have to do it for him.”