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August 20, 2014
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Couple takes plea agreement in drug case


A couple arrested on drug charges in mid-May after a California Highway Patrol officer stopped to investigate their stalled vehicle took plea agreements in court in return for time served and a referral to drug court, respectively.

Lela Marie Hubbard, 23, of Nevada City, was behind the wheel and Cory Dane Simmons, 28, of Grass Valley, was pushing the vehicle on Highway 20 near Penn Valley Drive, when an officer on patrol who stopped to check on them reportedly noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.

A search reportedly uncovered black tar heroin in baggies, two fully loaded syringes and other drug paraphernalia, and eight pounds of processed marijuana in packages.

They both were charged with possession and transportation of marijuana for sale, and possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.

In Nevada County Superior Court Thursday, Hubbard pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana, in return for three years probation and time served in county jail.

Simmons pleaded guilty to a felony count of possession of a controlled substance, and was referred to drug court to complete a 12- to 18-month drug treatment program.

In other court news:

A Nevada County man facing local charges of assault with a deadly weapon asked for another continuance in his case, which dates to September 2012, because he is seeking to hire a private attorney.

Brice Peeler was sentenced earlier this year to 38 years and eight months in state prison, after being convicted of assault with a firearm, felony evasion and being a felon in possession of a firearm for a September 2012 arrest that stemmed from an earlier reported assault with a gun in Penn Valley.

The Penn Valley incident is the case in which he still faces local prosecution.

The victim said he had been walking home in Penn Valley at about 1 a.m. when he was accosted by Peeler, who reportedly appeared to be high on methamphetamine and who pulled out a gun.

Peeler then allegedly pointed the gun at the victim’s head and told him to leave. Peeler then fled in a vehicle that had been in the area, according to the victim.

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office was called in to assist and subsequently located him in a vehicle. Several undercover units began to tail him, but Peeler realized he was being followed and a high-speed chase ensued.

At the end of the pursuit, Peeler exited his car holding a loaded 9-millimeter semi-automatic handgun, ran past a deputy and pointed the handgun at his head.

He then jumped a fence and dumped the handgun in a bush.

He eventually was apprehended after he forced his way into an adjacent house.

After his Sacramento County conviction in May, Peeler was transported back to Nevada County in mid-June and has pleaded not guilty to one count of assault with a deadly weapon, with special allegations of personal use of a firearm, a prior prison sentences.

This would be the third of three strikes and he is not eligible for probation.

Peeler is set to return to court Sept. 18, and a preliminary hearing into the evidence against him is set for Oct. 7.

He remains in custody on $150,000 bail.

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


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The Union Updated Aug 20, 2014 01:01AM Published Aug 21, 2014 04:14PM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.