Wednesday, June 20, 2012
The husband of artist Reiko Hervin is concerned that a deal is in the
works that will see the man charged in connection with her fatal
accident get too light a sentence.
Hervin, 51, was severely
injured in a Nov. 6 accident when a trailer carrying a Jeep became
detached and entered the oncoming lane near Jack Wright Pass on Highway
208, colliding with her vehicle.
The Smith Valley artist was on
her way home from a Minden art show when the accident occurred. She died
Nov. 30 at Renown Regional Medical Center from injuries she received in
The accident is the subject of an ongoing
investigation conducted by the Nevada Highway Patrol, prosecutor Karen
Dustman said Monday.
Gardnerville resident Jon Eugene McElhaney,
35, is charged with being in control of a vehicle while being under the
influence of an intoxicating liquor resulting in death or substantial
McElhaney is free on $15,637 bail. At an April
hearing, McElhaney's attorney Tod Young said the accident could be
traced to an equipment failure. McElhaney is considered innocent until
proven guilty by the state.
Because the case has not yet gone to a preliminary hearing, Dustman said there wasn't much she could reveal.
preliminary hearing scheduled for July 13 has been delayed because a
witness won't be available. Another hearing date has yet to be set.
husband Kurt said he was contacted by prosecutors last week and told
there was a possibility of a plea agreement that would recommend three
years. Under Nevada law, McElhaney faces 2-20 years in prison.
has a copy of a Nevada Highway Patrol report in which the narrative has
been blacked out. No copy of the report is in the court file.
defense said the guy never left his lane and the trailer just came
undone,” Hervin said. “It seems that the district attorney is saying
that the guy doesn't need to be rehabilitated. That he's an OK guy. I
think they're treating it much too lightly.”
Hervin said he felt the proposed sentence is much too light.
“It's beyond unreasonable,” he said. “It's ridiculous. Why are you putting me and my son through this?”
if the prosecution and defense agree on a deal, the sentence in a plea
agreement is only a recommendation to the judge, who makes the final
decision, after a pre-sentence report prepared by the state department
of parole and probation.
Hervin just returned from bringing
Reiko's ashes home to her native Japan. He said a drunk driving
conviction carries a 10-year sentence in Japan.
“The number of drunk drivers went way down,” he said. “People knew if they screwed up they would be doing hard time.”