Supreme court reinstatement may foil statute of limitations argument
The statute of limitations has not yet expired on a charge against a Carson City’s deputy district attorney, a special prosecutor claims.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Anne Langer faces a grand jury indictment accusing her of intimidating a witness.
Langer moved to dismiss the charge because the alleged incident occurred Nov. 11, 1997, and the statute of limitations – the time after which she could no longer be charged – expired in three years.
However, Terri Roeser, the attorney appointed to prosecute Langer, claims the case is still pending and so the statute of limitations couldn’t have run out.
Langer is accused of using threats or intimidation against Jaime Bustamante with the intent to influence his testimony in a case against Roland “Ron” Weddell which Langer was prosecuting.
The Nevada Supreme Court recently reinstated charges against Weddell – which, according to Roeser, also keeps alive the case against Langer.
“By virtue of the Supreme Court’s recent decision reinstating the charges against Mr. Weddell, the proceedings in which Ms. Langer is accused of intimidating Jaime Bustamante are still pending … Therefore, it is submitted that the crime of intimidating a witness is a continuous course of conduct until such time as the prosecution of Rolland Weddell is completely finalized,” Roeser said in court documents.
The statute of limitations does not begin to run until Bustamante’s testimony is completed because the danger or threat still exists, Roeser said.
Charges against Weddell stemmed from a Oct. 1997 incident in which Weddell alleged Bustamante and his brother Johnny Bustamante ran down a Weddell employee in his construction yard. Weddell said the Bustamante brothers were looking for Weddell’s daughter Kelly to collect drug money she allegedly owed them.
Weddell said he was attempting to place Bustamante under citizen’s arrest the following morning when Bustamante reached for a weapon in his coat pocket. Weddell fired four shots, missing Bustamante, and was later charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
Former District Court Judge Michael Fondi dismissed the charge against Weddell, and District Attorney Noel Waters appealed that dismissal to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court reinstated the charge against Weddell July 25.
Weddell has asked the Supreme Court to reconsider that ruling.
In August 2000, Weddell gathered an estimated 5,422 signatures on a petition to convene a grand jury to investigate several public officials, including Langer. A grand jury was empaneled March 13.
Indictments were returned against Langer and both Jaime and Johnny Bustamante. The Bustamante brothers were accused of 11 counts of suspicion of felony assault with a deadly weapon, battery with a deadly weapon, trafficking, possession and sales of a controlled substance. Additionally, Johnny Bustamante was indicted on a charge of extortion.
Jaime Bustamante and Langer will appear in court Sept. 10.