Reno man to be retried for kidnapping
A 31-year-old man from Reno is expected back in El Dorado County Superior Court Monday to stand trial for a second time on a kidnapping charge.
In March a jury deadlocked on the charge against Joseph Rodoni. The jury did convict Rodoni of two other felonies. He was found guilty of being a felon in possession of concealed weapon, being a felon in possession of a firearm and committing a misdemeanor DUI. He is expected to be sentenced to five years in prison for those crimes.
If found guilty of kidnapping after his second trial, he could be sentenced to an additional 20 years in prison.
Hans Uthe, El Dorado County assistant district attorney, said he expects all his primary witnesses to testify again, which includes the woman allegedly kidnapped, and possibly two more witnesses.
The district attorney’s office has also charged Rodoni with auto theft and possession of stolen property.
Rodoni is accused of abducting a 29-year-old South Lake Tahoe woman at gunpoint. The woman testified she was waiting at a bus stop at Reno Avenue and U.S. Highway 50 in November when at about 2 p.m. Rodoni drove up in a blue Ford Mustang, pulled a gun from his jacket and demanded she get in his car.
She told police he drove her to the Midway Motel and there she escaped while Rodoni was digging in his pocket for keys.
Rodoni testified during his first trial that he picked up the woman as part of a preset plan to buy a quarter-pound of marijuana from her. Rodoni, an admitted heavy pot smoker, said a friend had set up the deal for him.
The 31-year-old has a criminal history. In 1992, he was found guilty of second-degree commercial burglary in Santa Rosa, Calif., and in 1994 he was convicted of commercial burglary in Nevada.
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After a period of dry, warm weather, winter returns this week to Lake Tahoe.