Motion says jurisdiction for the murder charge belongs to Churchill County
Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
Attorneys for Troy Driver, the man charged with kidnapping and murdering Naomi Irion, have filed a motion to dismiss the murder charges against him in the Canal Township Justice Court, saying the proper jurisdiction for the murder charges is the Tenth Judicial District in Churchill County.
Irion was kidnapped March 12 from the Walmart parking lot in Fernley, where she was sitting in her car while waiting for a shuttle bus to her job at Panasonic in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center. Her body was found March 29 in a remote area of Churchill County.
The Motion to Dismiss was filed June 29 by attorneys Mario Walther, Moria Desmarais and Richard Davies. They cite reports from the Churchill County Sheriff’s Office which conclude that Irion’s body was not moved after her death, meaning the homicide occurred in Churchill County.
The criminal complaint filed against Driver by the Lyon County District Attorney’s Office charges that Driver shot Irion at or near a rural portion of northern Churchill County.
The Motion to Dismiss cites the case of Wilber Ernesto Martinez Guzman, who was charged with two murders in Douglas County and two others in Washoe County. In that case, the state Supreme Court ruled that Martinez Guzman could not be tried in Washoe County for the killings in Douglas County.
In their motion, Driver’s attorneys argue that in order for jurisdiction to be proper in a county other than where the crime occurred, there must be evidence of intent and a preparatory act in that other county. They argue that prosecutors can’t prove that Driver kidnapped Irion, and thus can’t prove that he committed such a prepatratory act.
“There is no evidence that Driver had the intent to commit murder and engaged in a preparatory act requisite to the consummation of the murder while in Lyon County,” the motion reads. “For jurisdiction to be proper in Lyon County, Nevada, the assailant would have had to have kidnapped Ms. Irion in said county with the intent to later murder her. Moreover, the State will not be able to prove, by even a preponderance of the evidence, that Mr. Driver kidnapped Ms. Irion.”
A pretrial hearing in the case is scheduled July 5 in Canal Township Justice Court.