DA adds sexual assault charge, files opposition to motion to dismiss in Driver case

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Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

The Lyon County District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday filed an amended criminal complaint adding a charge of sexual assault against Troy Driver, the man accused of kidnapping and murdering Naomi Irion. The DA’s Office also filed its opposition to the motion to dismiss filed in June by Driver’s attorneys, seeking to change the venue to Churchill County for the murder charge.

In the amended criminal complaint, the District Attorney’s Office charges that Driver sexually assaulted Irion after kidnapping her, then shot and buried her in a remote area in Churchill County.

Driver’s attorneys had filed the motion to dismiss the murder charge on June 29, saying that because the murder occurred in Churchill County, the proper jurisdiction for the murder charge is the Tenth Judicial District in Churchill County.

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In its opposition, the DA’s office asserts that district court, not justice court, is the proper venue for a motion to dismiss, and also asserts that although the murder and some of the other crimes Driver is charged with took place in Churchill County, Lyon County is the proper venue for the murder charge because the preparatory acts for the murder took place in Lyon County.

The DA’s Office argues that the justice court’s role is to make an evidentiary evaluation of whether there is probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed and that the defendant committed it. The DA’s Office asks that the motion to dismiss be denied, finding that the matter is not properly filed before the justice court and must be decided in district court.

The DA’s Office also said the motion to dismiss was based on speculative, unsubstantiated factual assertions.

“This is a mere distraction and does not provide the court with any factual support to either grant or deny the motion,” the DA’s opposition states.

Regarding the venue, the DA’s opposition to the motion said preparatory acts requisite to the murder, kidnapping, sexual assault and other charges occurred in Lyon County, such as staking out the location and the victim, traveling to Lyon County, waiting in the Walmart parking lot and entering the victim’s car in the Walmart parking lot.

“The kidnapping in this case is also a continuing crime commencing in Lyon County and ending when Driver killed the victim in Churchill County,” the DA’s Office wrote in its opposition.

The DA’s Office also argues in its opposition that the community interest weighs most heavily in Lyon County.

“The victim was a young resident of Lyon County; the defendant targeted his victim in Lyon County; the kidnapping happened in Lyon County; the Defendant returned to Lyon County after he committed these crimes; and the community most impacted in Lyon County,” the DA’s opposition states.

A three-day evidentiary hearing in the case is set to begin Sept. 13 in Canal Township Justice Court, and will include any oral arguments presented on the motion to dismiss

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