By Leah Wilkinson, Pizen Switch Times
District Court Room B at the Lyon County Justice Center was quiet Monday morning as attorneys and audience members waited for The Honorable Judge John Schlegelmilch to enter.
After the Court Bailiff’s instruction for all to rise as the judge entered the chamber, two brief hearings were held before the arraignment for Troy Driver was announced at 10:10 a.m.
A shackled Driver entered the left side court room in a gray and white striped jail jumpsuit and sat between two defense attorneys, with three Lyon County Sheriff’s deputies within arm’s reach. All bench seats behind Driver were empty except for three women in the back.
District Attorney Steve Rye and his Deputy District Attorney were on the right side of the court room with the brother and sister of Naomi Irion sitting on the bench behind them. All bench seats behind the District Attorney were occupied. Spectators traditionally sit behind the “side” they support.
Judge Schlegelmilch began with, “Alright, this is Case 22CR0929 the State of Nevada versus Troy Driver. This time is set for arraignment…”
Judge Schlegelmilch asked Troy Driver what grades he had finished in school. Driver replied that he attended through high school followed by “some college”. The Judge asked/stated that it could be inferred that Driver had a reasonable ability to read and understand English; and Driver agreed.
Judge: “Were you able to read the amended information that was filed against you?”
Driver: “I was.”
Judge: “Do you understand its contents?”
Driver: “Yes, I do.”
Judge: “The file contains an unconditional waiver of your preliminary hearing that was signed by you. Did you waive that hearing after fully consulting with your counsel?”
Driver: “Yes, I did.”
Judge Schlegelmilch continued with hearing discussions and read Court Document 22CR0929 verbatim for the record to include seven criminal counts with descriptions of each count. These included Count 1: first degree murder; Count 2: kidnapping in the first degree with use of a deadly weapon; Count 3: sexual assault, a Category 8 felony; Count 4: robbery with the use of a deadly weapon; Count 5: possession of a firearm by a convicted person; Count 6: burglary of a motor vehicle; Count 7: destroying evidence.
Judge Schlegelmilch asked Driver if he understood, with a Notice of Intent filed by the District Attorney on September 22, 2022, that Driver could be sentenced to death if convicted of Count 1, First Degree Murder. Driver replied, “Yes, I understand.”
Between March 12 and 25, 2022, Driver is alleged to have kidnapped, sexually assaulted, killed, then buried 18-year old Fernley resident Naomi Irion.
Driver stood with his attorneys when Judge Schlegelmilch asked, “How do you plead?” to each of the seven counts.
Driver answered clearly seven times, “Not guilty.”
Defense attorneys and the prosecution agreed that this trial should take a total of four weeks. Driver waived his right to a speedy trial (within 60 days).
Judge Schlegelmilch scheduled a status hearing for Friday, May 26 at 9 a.m. Trial dates should be announced on or before that hearing.
Defense attorneys notified the Court that they plan to file several motions prior to the trial.
This coming Sunday, March 12, will mark a year since Naomi Irion left her home early one morning to catch the bus to her job at Panasonic. She was kidnapped as she waited in her car for the bus arrival at the Fernley Walmart.