Window shooter’s mail theft plea in limbo |

Window shooter’s mail theft plea in limbo

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer
David Scott Killen

A plea deal for a man charged with the theft of mail was stalled on Tuesday morning after the opposing sides argued over credit for time served.

David Scott Killen, 23, entered a plea of no contest before District Judge Bill Maddox to a charge of opening, reading or publishing a sealed letter or telegram.

When asked by Maddox why Killen was entering a no-contest plea instead of a guilty plea, defense Attorney Ben Walker said Killen didn’t feel that his involvement was “as great” as his co-defendant, Dylan Gregory, who pleaded to two counts of gross misdemeanor opening, reading or publishing a sealed letter or telegram earlier this month.

“I was there, I didn’t say no,” said Killen. “They used my car, I was responsible.”

Killen has been in custody since his arrest Dec. 9 when he, Gregory and Tristan Ledford, 19, were spotted by a homeowner rifling through mailboxes.

When police pulled their vehicle over, Killen was at the wheel, and Gregory and Ledford were passengers.

Mail found inside the vehicle and statements made after their arrests indicated the trio was looking for credit card applications and holiday cards containing money, according to court records.

No charges were filed against Ledford, who lives near where the mail theft took place.

Reno Postal Inspector Steve Hofheins said the state’s attorney has decided against pursuing federal charges against Gregory, Killen and Ledford.

Maddox accepted Killen’s plea Tuesday morning, but when a request was made to delay the sentencing to give the victims time to prepare testimony, a debate arose among the prosecution and defense over where Killen would spend his time waiting.

District Attorney Neil Rombardo asked that Killen be returned to the Douglas County Jail to continue serving a year sentence in a rash of window shootings – essentially stopping Killen from deducting the time from any sentence the judge would impose in the mail theft case.

Defense Attorney Walker argued against moving Killen and noted that in the plea agreement, it was his understanding that any time Killen served behind bars while he awaited sentencing would go toward the mail theft penalty.

Walker said part of Killen’s motivation in reaching the plea deal was so that he could have some “overlap” of the sentences. The most Killen could serve on the gross misdemeanor mail theft charge would be a year in jail.

Judge Maddox set the sentencing date for May 20, but then told the attorneys to return on April 1 and tell him whether the agreement would stand or the case would be set for trial.

Killen remains in the Carson City jail at this time.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.