Nevada County DA’s Office: No charges to be filed in Mustang Valley Place assault | TheUnion.com

Nevada County DA’s Office: No charges to be filed in Mustang Valley Place assault

The Nevada County District Attorney’s Office has opted against filing charges in a bizarre assault in which a man was reportedly shot, beaten with a golf club and run over with an ATV.

Three people had initially been arrested in connection with the Tuesday altercation on Mustang Valley Place, off McCourtney Road. Jerry Del Re, 67; Lindsey Papola, 29; and Aaron Pillow, 32, were charged with assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury. Papola also was charged with battery.

But on Friday, Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh issued a release saying no charges would be filed, and explaining the decision.

“As background, it should be noted the alleged victim had a restraining order against him that had recently elapsed, issued earlier this year,” Walsh said. “The restraining order had been obtained by individuals who lived at the property where this happened.”

According to Walsh, law enforcement had been called out to the property in April, after the alleged victim was said to have doused the residence with gasoline, including splashing gasoline on a person who lived there, and was threatening to blow the place up.

That incident was still under investigation at the time of Tuesday’s altercation and could have led to charges, Walsh said.

On Tuesday, several people who lived at the property said the alleged victim, who is 31, came over to the property in the 18000 block of Mustang Valley Place and was told to leave. An argument started and the man reportedly pulled a knife on Del Re. In response, one of the people present, who was not identified, shot the man with an air rifle, reportedly intending to hit him in the arm where he was holding the knife but hit him instead in the stomach. Others struck the alleged victim with a golf club, and Del Re might have run over the alleged victim with an ATV, Walsh said.

Walsh said the man went home and went to sleep, apparently not realizing the severity of his injuries.

“It was an air rifle but powerful,” Walsh said. “Even though it was just a pellet, it penetrated the skin and caused internal damage.”

The man later realized he was injured and was taken to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and a family member called police.

When he was interviewed by law enforcement, the alleged victim was not fully candid, Walsh said. It was only after several interviews that he eventually admitted he was armed with a knife, although he claimed he only pulled the knife in self-defense.

“Based upon a careful review of the evidence, the District Attorney’s Office is unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that crimes were committed by the suspects,” Walsh wrote in the release. “This is not a criticism of the excellent detectives at the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office who worked hard on this case, but is instead a recognition of the high burden of proof required to prove a criminal case in a court of law.”

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


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