Homicide suspect Joseph Ward faces a theft charge out of Nevada state | TheUnion.com

Homicide suspect Joseph Ward faces a theft charge out of Nevada state

Nevada state prosecutors say they intend to prosecute a Nevada County homicide suspect on a theft charge in Carson City.

Joseph Ward, 31, is accused in the June 7 death of Kenneth Pestana, 61. Arrested the following day in Nevada state, Ward remained Monday in the Carson City Jail under $25,000 in bond on a charge of possession of a stolen vehicle, said Melanie Brantingham, a deputy district attorney with the Carson City District Attorney's Office.

Ward would remain in jail if he makes bond on the Nevada state charge, because of the outstanding California warrant for murder, she added.

"He's on a no-bail hold out of Nevada County," she added.

Ward is scheduled to appear June 27 before a Carson City judge for a preliminary hearing on the stolen vehicle charge. At that hearing a judge will determine if enough probable cause exists to advance that case to trial.

Brantingham noted that the hearing date could change, or the case get resolved on that date. She intends to prosecute the Nevada state charge before Ward is returned to California.

Authorities say Ward became a suspect after interviewing people at Pestana's home, where his body was found in a cabin. Ward disappeared June 7, as did Pestana's dog and car — both of which were spotted the next day at a Carson City apartment.

Officers then saw Ward leave an apartment with a dog and arrested him.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.