Man pleads guilty to reckless driving, required to keep monitor on |

Man pleads guilty to reckless driving, required to keep monitor on

Sheila Gardner

A California man faces up to six years in Nevada State Prison after he pleaded guilty Tuesday to reckless driving that caused the death last summer of a pedestrian at Stateline.

District Judge Dave Gamble set sentencing May 15 for David Ray Stephenson, 35, of Discovery Bay, Calif.

He admitted striking Joan Marie Hamrick, 60, of Valley Springs, Calif., early July 30 as she crossed the highway from the Horizon to the MontBleu, and leaving the scene.

“I was driving my vehicle and I did not yield to the pedestrian who was crossing the street. I struck her. I pulled my vehicle over and checked her to see if she was all right. I panicked and I left,” Stephenson said.

He said the victim appeared to be unconscious.

Hamrick was transported to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno and died of her injuries.

According to the report, a witness followed Stephenson home. He eventually came out and identified himself as the driver.

As part of a plea agreement, Stephenson will not seek probation. The state agreed to recommend 12-30 months in Nevada State Prison.

Stephenson agreed to plead guilty to vehicular manslaughter in Tahoe Township Justice Court with a recommended sentence of six months to be served concurrent to the prison term.

Gamble pointed out that it is up to each judge to set the sentence despite the plea agreement.

Lawyer Tod Young said Stephenson was under the supervision of the Department of Alternative Sentencing and wore a monitor which tracked his whereabouts and whether he was using alcohol.

He said Stephenson had been sober for 224 days and was participating in counseling.

Gamble declined to remove the monitor.

“It’s entirely critical for your life not to use alcohol,” Gamble said. “Your actions between now and when I see you are very critical.”

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