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April 23, 2014
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Allegations of injury dropped in home invasion robbery case

An amended complaint was filed against two defendants in a home invasion robbery in Grass Valley that seriously injured the elderly resident, dropping special allegations of having caused great bodily injury and causing great bodily injury to an elderly victim.

“We discovered through further investigation that the person who actually used the deadly weapon to strike the victim in the head is neither (defendants) Devin Thomas nor Tyler Leal,” said Nevada County Assistant District Attorney Anna Ferguson. “I amended to strike that allegation against them because it was not fair, ethical or provable.”

The 73-year-old victim was beaten and tied up Dec. 6, 2012, by three young men who knocked on his door and asked him if they could make an out-of-town phone call.

He was struck in the face and head by an unidentified weapon and left bound and bleeding on the floor while the trio ransacked and stole several items from the residence before fleeing in his truck. He was able to crawl to a telephone to call 911; his truck later was recovered on Richardson Street.

The victim has had several surgeries to repair the fractured orbital bone around his right eye and continues to have serious medical issues from the beating.

A 17-year-old boy reported to have been the primary aggressor was arrested less than a week after the attack. He was booked into Juvenile Hall on suspicion of kidnapping, robbery, battery with serious bodily injury, residential burglary, theft from an elder and false imprisonment of an elder, as well as violating probation.

A decision on whether to try him as an adult is still pending.

Leal, 17, was arrested Feb. 13 and booked as a juvenile on suspicion of robbery, criminal conspiracy and possession of stolen property; a felony complaint charging him as an adult was filed Feb. 28. Thomas, 18, subsequently turned himself in.

A preliminary hearing into the evidence against them that had been scheduled for April 10 was canceled because of the new discovery, and the amended complaint was filed April 17.

Leal and Thomas have pleaded not guilty to home invasion robbery, first-degree residential burglary with a person present, criminal conspiracy and possession of stolen property. They are to return to court May 1.

In other court news:

A Nevada City woman was sentenced in February to 90 days in jail and five years supervised probation after pleading no contest to grand theft of personal property, fraudulent use of a credit card and identity theft.

Robin Jean Gauldin, 48, had been facing 12 counts of forgery, theft and fraudulent use of a credit card involving the theft of money from a nonprofit children’s agency, as well as from a family member. Gauldin allegedly made unauthorized credit card charges on a card belonging to her husband’s uncle, Richard Farley, in the fall of 2012.

Gauldin was arrested on similar charges in January 2013 after being hired by Sierra Nevada Children’s Services, a private, nonprofit child care resource and referral agency.

Gauldin was hired in late November and was handling the agency’s accounts payable.

Sierra Nevada Children’s Services connects families in need of child-care options, working with families to help them find caregivers and services. The organization offers assistance through financial support, referrals and resources, access to educational workshops and other technical assistance.

Gauldin allegedly issued herself unauthorized payroll checks for almost $2,500 and forged board members’ signatures on the checks. She also allegedly used an agency credit card to pay the rent on her son’s housing, a little more than $2,500.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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The Union Updated Apr 24, 2014 06:24PM Published Apr 25, 2014 08:54PM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.