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Nevada County DA adds murder charge for shooting suspect in drug deal gone bad

The 22-year-old man suspected of firing the shot that struck a Nevada County woman in the head earlier this month has now been charged with murder in the wake of her death.

Nevada County District Attorney Chris Walsh on Wednesday filed an amended complaint against Trey Rondal Richard and his five co-defendants, adding additional allegations of prior serious felonies for three of the other men. All six face charges in connection with the shooting of 36-year-old Shanta Olsen, authorities said.

The six men were re-arraigned Friday in Nevada County Superior Court, in a proceeding that lasted most of the afternoon.

Dakari Mondell Harris, 22, of Shreveport, Louisiana; and Richard, 22; Devon Deontae Jennings, 21; William Rynell Levise, 31; Ronney Turner, 31; and Laderrick Timothy Wynn, 20, all of Dallas, have been charged with being members of a criminal conspiracy with the intent to transport marijuana out of state and theft by false pretenses, and with shooting at an occupied motor vehicle. Richard also faces an enhancement of personal use of a firearm causing great bodily injury and death.

Richard now faces a murder accusation with special circumstances of firing from a vehicle, after Olsen was taken off life support. Allegations of prior serious felony convictions were added to the charges facing Jennings, Levise and Turner.

Only three of the six defendants appeared in person Friday, prompting Walsh to argue that a case this serious should require personal appearances rather than via Zoom.

Harris, Jennings, Levise, Turner and Wynn all had made their $100,000 bond and had returned home to Texas. Only Jennings and Wynn had opted to fly back to California.

Walsh argued that because he added the allegations of prior serious felonies to the charges faced by Jennings, Levise and Turner, their bonds should be increased to $150,000 each.

The request prompted a flurry of protests from the respective defense attorneys. But in the end, Judge Linda Sloven granted the bail increases for all three with the proviso that they could attend the next hearing on Nov. 30 via Zoom, if they posted the additional bond. If they did not, they would be required to return to California and attend court in person.

Richard, who remained in custody on a $1 million bond, now is being held without possibility of bail, Sloven said.

Harris, Jennings and Levise each pleaded not guilty to the revised charges. Richard, Wynn and Turner opted to defer entering a plea until Nov. 30.

Grass Valley police arrested the men Nov. 10 in the wake of a drug deal gone bad, Capt. Steve Johnson has said.

The suspects had tried to purchase a “significant” amount of marijuana with fake money on Nov. 7 and a confrontation ensued. The would-be buyers fled in an undetermined number of vehicles and two people began chasing them up Rough and Ready Highway into Grass Valley. Shots were fired and one struck Olsen, who was the passenger in the pursuing vehicle, Johnson said.

Detectives tracked the suspects to a Davis hotel and arrested them on suspicion of murder. During the search of the suspects’ hotel rooms, they located a semi-automatic pistol consistent with what might have been used in the shooting, more than 30 pounds of processed marijuana and a large stockpile of fake currency, Johnson said.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.

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