October 5, 2012 | Back to: Columns

PV man pleads not guilty in alleged home invasion pot robbery

A Penn Valley man pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of robbery, burglary and criminal threats in an alleged attempt to steal marijuana.

Jason Ortiz, 39, and Leslie Schofield, 32, of Rough and Ready, allegedly broke down the front door of a residence in the 14000 block of Idaho-Maryland Road in mid-July, reportedly in search of marijuana.

The male resident allegedly used a baseball bat to drive the two men away.

Ortiz was in Nevada County Superior Court Thursday and pleaded not guilty to all charges. A preliminary hearing into the evidence against him was set for Oct. 16.

Schofield is set to be arraigned on this case Oct. 15.

In other court news

A decision on whether Sammie’s Friends animal shelter has legal standing in a misdemeanor animal cruelty case has been postponed.

The defense attorney for a Big Oak Valley rancher found guilty of misdemeanor animal cruelty had asked the appeals court to reverse a local judge’s decision.

The judge ruled in late July that the nonprofit organization, which had been caring for Louis Silva’s animals, had legal standing in the case.

Silva originally faced three felony counts and two misdemeanor counts after more than a dozen animals were removed from his Patino Road property in March 2011.

Jurors found Silva guilty this spring of the two misdemeanors but were split on the felony charges.

Sammie’s Friends, the nonprofit group that runs the county’s animal shelter, has been caring for Silva’s animals for the last 15 months.

Sammie’s Friends had objected to any of the animals being released back to Silva, and Judge R.M. Smith ruled they had the legal authority to be a party in the case.

But the appellate court has disagreed, Smith said in court Thursday, adding that he likely would reverse his ruling.

Sammie’s Friends attorney Jill Telfer requested the opportunity to present her objections, however, and the hearing was postponed until Nov. 15.

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


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The Union Updated Oct 5, 2012 12:33AM Published Oct 10, 2012 07:30AM Copyright 2012 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.