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Trial begins for man accused of attempted murder in Red Lion parking lot

ELKO – An Elko man who is accused of attempted murder in the Red Lion parking lot is on trial this week in district court.

Carl Bond Jr., 41, is accused of attacking Rick Huerta with a knife on Sept. 9 as Huerta and his wife, Beverly, were walking into the Red Lion Inn and Casino for dinner.

Huerta was not seriously injured in the altercation, only having cuts, scratches and a ripped shirt, according to Free Press files. His wife was unharmed.

Bond was charged with attempted murder with the use of a deadly weapon and assault with a deadly weapon, both category B felonies. If convicted of attempted murder he could receive 10 years to life in prison.

The jury trial began Feb. 13 in Elko Justice Court Department 2 with Judge Al Kacin presiding.

In opening arguments, Deputy District Attorney David Buchler recounted the incident, telling the jury the Huertas would testify about the evening they met Bond, who was walking toward the Huertas that night as they were going into the Red Lion.

Buchler said that as the Huertas approached the defendant, Rick Huerta asked Bond “How are you doing tonight?” and Bond replied “I’m going to kill somebody.”

After Huerta said “You don’t want to do that, buddy?” they kept walking. Then Huerta’s wife told her husband Bond was coming after him right before he attacked Huerta from behind, Buchler said.

“Rick turned and a struggle ensued, and at some point, Rick struck the defendant,” Buchler said.

During the altercation, Huerta’s wife called out that Bond had a knife and “ultimately, Rick was able to subdue the defendant and get the knife away,” Buchler said.

Buchler said the two Red Lion security guards on duty that night would testify that when they arrived, they saw Huerta struggling with the defendant on the ground and saw the knife thrown, landing beyond one of the security guards.

“We believe that based on that testimony and evidence that we will prove our case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Buchler said, asking the jury to find Bond guilty of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

In the defense’s opening argument, Deputy Public Defender Ben Gaumond, who is representing Bond, told the jury his client Bond and Huerta “exchanged words” as they approached each other when Huerta “threw the very first punch to set off the altercation.”

“All of a sudden, Huerta punches my client,” Gaumond said, explaining that both men rolled on the ground as Huerta’s wife told the men to “stop, guys,” but Huerta did not let up.

“Eventually a knife shows up in between the two men. Mr. Huerta never saw Mr. Bond take out a knife and Mr. Huerta never sees Mr. Bond try to stab him,” Gaumond said, adding that Huerta’s wife did not see Bond try to stab her husband.

Gaumond said the jury would also hear what the Elko Police “did … and didn’t do with the knife” when officers took the knife into evidence to send out for fingerprint analysis.

“They never actually tried to figure out if Mr. Bond touched the knife, whatsoever,” Gaumond said, before asking the jury to find his client not guilty.

The trial is expected to conclude Thursday.


Local
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BLM gathering 1,300 horses in Elko, White Pine counties

ELY – The Bureau of Land Management is rounding up more horses in eastern Nevada than expected, but leaving more on the range than the “appropriate management level” advises.

The agency began a helicopter-assisted gather Jan. 31 in the overpopulated Triple B Complex in Eastern Nevada. Horses also may be gathered in other areas where they have moved in search of food and water and where they are creating a public safety hazard by traveling regularly across Jiggs Road, the BLM reported.

The current population estimate for the complex is approximately 3,842 wild horses. The cumulative Appropriate Management Level for all the Herd Management Areas within the targeted gather area is 472 to 884 wild horses.

“Originally, the BLM had planned to gather 1,500 wild horses and remove approximately 1,000 excess horses. Due to a larger number of animals located outside the complex and on private lands, public safety concerns, a higher rate of horses in poor body condition than anticipated, and concerns that the abnormally dry conditions could lead to an emergency situation this summer, BLM will gather fewer total animals, but will remove an additional 300 horses from the range,” stated a BLM release.

Approximately 1,400 wild horses are being gathered, of which 1,300 excess horses will be removed. Approximately 2,466 wild horses will remain in the complex once the gather is completed.

A total of 28 mares were treated with PZP, a fertility control agent, and released.

The gather is expected to last approximately a month and is being conducted by the BLM Ely and Elko District Offices.

The BLM stated the purpose of the operation “is to prevent undue or unnecessary degradation of the public lands associated with excess wild horses, and to restore a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship on public lands, consistent with the provisions of Section 1333(b) of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

“The BLM strives to be a good neighbor in the communities we serve, ensuring public safety is not at risk due to the overpopulation of wild horses and providing opportunities for economic growth with space for traditional uses,” stated the agency.


Local
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Fatal crash closes US 50, hay truck catches fire

ELKO – Nevada Highway Patrol closed U.S. Highway 50 west of Austin because of a fatal collision that caused a hay truck to burst into flames.

NHP trooper Jim Stewart said the crash occurred approximately 35 miles west of town.

“The highway is blocked in both directions, and will be for most of the day,” he said Tuesday afternoon.

Motorists can use State Route 722 to bypass the scene.

The crash involved a semi tractor-trailer and an SUV. The truck was hauling hay, and caught fire after the collision.

Stewart said the occupant of the SUV is deceased, and preliminary investigation indicates it was a head-on collision.

More details will be published when they are available from NHP.


Local
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Greyhound eliminating bus service across northern Nevada

ELKO – Greyhound is cutting service to rural Nevada towns and telling people to ride the train instead.

Greyhound service to Lovelock, Battle Mountain and Wendover will be eliminated due to low ridership, according to the company. Service in some other towns, including Elko, will be available by Amtrak.

“Greyhound will enter an interline partnership with Amtrak effective Feb. 21 in which Amtrak will operate a similar schedule as Greyhound’s existing service for customers between Reno and Salt Lake City, including cities such as Elko and Winnemucca,” stated an email from the company to the Elko Daily Free Press. “Amtrak will accept Greyhound tickets, and customers will have seamless connectivity to both Greyhound and Amtrak’s networks.”

The nearest bus connections will be in Reno and Salt Lake City, but there will be no bus traffic between them.