Supreme Court refuses to toss charges against Rolland Weddell
April 10, 2003
The Nevada Supreme Court has refused to dismiss criminal charges against Carson City contractor Ron Weddell.
The high court reinstated assault with a deadly weapon charges against Weddell, stemming from an incident in which he shot at two men while attempting to make a citizen’s arrest.
Carson District Attorney Noel Waters filed the charges, but they were dismissed by then-District Judge Mike Fondi. The Supreme Court voted in July to reinstate the charges, sending the case back to Carson District Court, where District Judge Mike Griffin refused a new motion to dismiss the case.
Weddell went back to the Supreme Court to challenge the ruling, but was denied Wednesday.
The move clears the way for a trial of Weddell. Waters said earlier that a private citizen’s right to use deadly force must be restricted to self-defense or other equally serious situations.
“To take a felon into custody by shooting him is a little extreme,” he said after the July ruling.
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The incident began after James Bustamonte allegedly tried to run over one of Weddell’s employees with a pickup. Weddell found Bustamonte the following day and called police, but when they didn’t show up in 15 minutes, he tried to arrest Bustamonte.
When the man fled, Weddell shot at him four times, but missed.
He was charged with assault and discharging a firearm at a person.
While Fondi tossed the charge out saying he had the right to shoot under Nevada’s old “fleeing felon” law, the high court disagreed. It said Weddell has no common law or statutory right to use deadly force in making a citizen’s arrest.
“Weddell’s use of deadly force to make an arrest was unreasonable, as a matter of law, unless he was threatened with serious bodily injury to himself or others,” the July opinion stated.