Gonzales arraignment waived
June 13, 2002
MINDEN — In a brief appearance Wednesday in East Fork Justice Court, a preliminary hearing was waived for the owner of a Minden plant where an explosion killed one employee and injured four.
Arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 5 for Walter Gonzales, owner of Depressurized Technologies International, an aerosol can recycler, who is accused of seven felonies and seven misdemeanors in connection with the Sept. 17 explosion.
“We are still in negotiations,” Nevada Senior Deputy Attorney General Gregory Zunino explained to Judge Jim EnEarl in making the request to waive the preliminary hearing.
Defense attorney Noel Manoukian agreed to waive the hearing, at which prosecutors would be required to produce enough evidence to show the case should go to trial.
The charges relate to conditions at the plant at the time of the explosion and industrial insurance. Prosecutions are being pursued by Douglas County, as well as the state Attorney General’s Office.
The company has been fined $144,000 by the state Occupational Safety and Health Enforcement Section. That board is considering a fine-reduction request and is expected to rule before Gonzales’ August arraignment, when he will be asked to enter a plea to the charges.