A judge found sufficient evidence to hold a Big Oak Valley man to face charges of assault with a deadly weapon, making criminal threats and bringing drugs into jail after a reported three-day methamphetamine binge.
Ehren Eleby, 46, was arrested Jan. 9 after he allegedly began chasing family members around their Hydraulic Way home with a variety of sharp objects, including spears.
Nevada County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Lampe testified during Eleby’s preliminary hearing in Nevada County Superior Court Thursday that when he responded to the address, Eleby’s brother and another man told him the suspect had chased them with two spears.
Lampe testified that another deputy had arrived about four minutes earlier and had seen Eleby running up a hill with a long pole or spear, which he threw into the trees. That pole was not recovered, Lampe said.
But two other poles at the residence were given to the deputies and appeared capable of inflicting damage, the deputy said.
Eleby’s mother and two nieces said they had locked themselves in a bedroom and the bathroom, Lampe testified.
One of Eleby’s nieces allegedly told Lampe that she had seen him smoking meth in the garage two days earlier, he said.
Deputy Jason Spillner testified that he was working overtime at the jail and searched Eleby when he was brought in for booking.
Spillner said that he saw a folded-up Band-Aid-type bandage fly out of Eleby’s sock; the bandage allegedly contained a baggie of suspected meth.
Eleby’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Keri Klein, told Judge Candace Heidelberger the case was “ridiculous,” pointing to the fact that Eleby’s brother called 911 before the spear incident.
“The facts don’t make sense,” Klein said.
Klein also pointed to the fact that the two “spears” were never found, arguing there was insufficient evidence.
Heidelberger agreed that there seemed to be some gaps in the evidence presented but found it sufficient to move forward.
Eleby was set for formal arraignment Feb. 15.
To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.