Grass Valley man sentenced to 7 years |

Grass Valley man sentenced to 7 years

A Grass Valley man was sentenced to seven years in state prison Thursday after violating probation on a 2018 arrest.

Nevada County Superior Court Judge Robert Tice-Raskin noted that James Anthony Kleinau had taken a plea agreement in return for a suspended sentence while he attended drug court, but now is subject to the prison term.

Kleinau, 41, has 610 days credit for time served and good behavior, Tice-Raskin noted.

Kleinau was charged with felony reckless evasion of a peace officer, resisting arrest, and possessing a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia after a September 2018 arrest in which he allegedly led police on a car chase and ran from them after wrecking his vehicle.

Kleinau had been identified as the main suspect in a fight involving several people on Squirrel Creek Road, and failed to stop for a Grass Valley police officer who spotted his vehicle, Capt. Steve Johnson said at the time.

A pursuit ensued until Kleinau lost control and crashed into an embankment. He then ran from the vehicle, getting about 50 yards away before officers caught him, Johnson said. Officers found suspected methamphetamine and marijuana on Kleinau, along with a glass pipe, burnt spoons and other paraphernalia, he added.

Kleinau in March 2019 pleaded no contest to the reckless evasion charge and the other counts were dismissed, court records state. He appeared several times through July of that year with successful drug court reports. But in December, he was taken back into custody on a probation violation, according to jail records.

“He violated the terms of Adult Drug Court … and was terminated unsuccessfully from the program,” Nevada County Deputy District Attorney Patrick Beauchamp said in an email.

A number of probation violations were alleged, Beauchamp stated, including failing to attend outpatient treatment as directed, testing positive for alcohol, three separate failures to report to the probation department and submit to other alcohol and drug tests, and failing to return to residential recovery housing as directed.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

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