Troy Driver found dead in cell of apparent suicide

Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

Troy Driver, the man charged with kidnapping and murdering Naomi Irion, was found dead in his jail cell in an apparent suicide Sunday evening, Lyon County Sheriff Brad Pope said in a statement.

According to Pope’s statement, deputies in the Lyon County jail conducting routine hourly cell checks and inmate cell counts found Driver unresponsive alone in his cell at 6:17 p.m. Sunday. Pope said they immediately entered the cell and started lifesaving measures, including CPR. The on-duty Jail Control Room Officer requested an ambulance, which was dispatched to the jail.

While deputies performed CPR, medical personnel with the Yerington/Mason Valley Fire Department arrived and took over lifesaving attempts. After several rounds of CPR with no effect, fire department medical personnel contacted an emergency room doctor through regional medical control who was advised of the lifesaving attempt and advised medical personnel on scene to terminate CPR and pronounce the inmate deceased.


Pope said preliminary details thus far indicate that Driver committed suicide by asphyxiation.

Driver was in custody on murder charges and awaiting trial for the kidnapping and murder of Naomi Irion. He was housed in a maximum security jail cell and had no contact with other inmates. Sources said Driver attempted suicide last year by trying to hang himself, but at that time, then-Sheriff Frank Hunewill declined to confirm or deny those reports.

Per Lyon County Sheriff’s Office policy, an outside agency is required to conduct in custody death investigations. The Nevada State Police Division of Investigations was requested to respond to the Lyon County jail to investigate the events leading to Driver’s death.

Driver was arrested in Reno on March 25, 2022, and his pickup truck was towed from a home on Alcorn Road west of Fallon. The Churchill County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigations in the service of a search and seizure warrant.  He had been held on $750,000 bail. 

In the first count, a Category A felony, Driver shot Irion with a deadly weapon between March 12 and March 25, 2022 in a rural area of northern Churchill County in the vicinity of Coal Canyon Road. The complaint states Driver shot Irion with premeditation and deliberation.

Irion was reported missing from the Fernley Walmart on March 12.  Her vehicle was found March 15 at the industrial park in Fernley. At the time, Lyon County deputies said evidence found inside the car suggests Irion’s disappearance was the result of a crime.

In the second count, a category A felony, Driver is charged with abducting Irion and either holding or detaining her and then taking her to the remote Churchill County location. The count further stated Driver took her there for the purpose of committing sexual assault and/or the purpose of killing her.

The penalty for a Category A felony may include life in the Nevada State Prison and possibly death in a first-degree murder case.

The third count, a category B felony, stated on or about March 12, Driver entered Irion’s car and drove the vehicle against her will to the Fernley Industrial Center east of the Walmart parking lot. Category B carries a maximum sentence in Nevada State Prison of 20 years.

Count four charged Driver with unlawfully entering or remaining in Irion’s 1992 Mercury Sable at the parking lot with the intent to commit grand or petit larceny, assault or battery. The Category E felony is punishable by one to four years in prison and a fine of $5,000.

The final county charges Driver with destroying evidence, a gross misdemeanor. Between March 12 and 25, Driver was accused of disposing his truck tires to conceal or destroy evidence of a felony and either to protect or conceal his identity. He was charged with burying Irion’s body to conceal or destroy evidence of her kidnapping, murder and other crimes such as destroying and concealing her cellphone.

A gross misdemeanor results in a jail sentence of up to 364 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.

The complaint covered Driver’s activities in a five-county swath to include Lyon, Churchill, Pershing, Humboldt and Eureka.

Steve Ranson of the Lahontan Valley News assisted with the reporting.

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