Nevada County District Attorney dismisses armed robbery case | TheUnion.com
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Nevada County District Attorney dismisses armed robbery case

Charges against a Penn Valley man who allegedly robbed another man at gunpoint, as payback for a marijuana deal gone bad, were dismissed after the prosecution was unable to track down the victim for a hearing into the evidence.

Joseph William Axtell, 59, did plead no contest to a probation violation, a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and was sentenced to 212 days with credit for time served. Probation was reinstated.

The alleged victim initially called authorities at 2:45 a.m. April 6 to report that he had been robbed at gunpoint — but that he currently was at Thunder Valley casino, and that he would call back when he returned to Nevada County.



The man told deputies that Axtell had stolen three of his vehicles — a red GMC, a grey Dodge Durango, and an Audi — as well as a large flat-screen TV and his cell phone.

The alleged victim told deputies it was due to a “marijuana deal gone bad.”




When deputies went to Axtell’s residence, they reportedly saw two vehicles matching the description of those that had been stolen.

During a search, they reportedly found a loaded Ruger lying on the front seat of the GMC, and a loaded Remington and a loaded Marlin rifle in the back seat, as well as a couple of cell phones. They also allegedly located a sawed-off .22-gauge rifle in a shop next to the residence, and the stolen TV in the living room.

Axtell reportedly said the victim owed him $24,000 and that he had given him the vehicles and television in trade.

He was subsequently charged with first degree robbery, robbery by force or fear, burglary, and being a felon in possession of a gun.

Axtell was in Nevada County Superior Court Thursday for a preliminary hearing, but instead took a people v. West plea to the probation violation, meaning he did not admit to the charge but would not contest it.

Deputy District Attorney Jesse Wilson opted to dismiss the April case, saying that he had been unable to reach the alleged victim.

Request for documents slows proceedings against former head of GVDA

The attorney for Julia Jordan, the former head of the Grass Valley Downtown Association facing charges of embezzlement, was in court Thursday asking for a number of documents from the association.

Jordan left Grass Valley in March 2015 and has since moved to Seattle. Sara Christiansen, the current association board chair, said the board discovered some financial improprieties, and went to the police soon after Jordan left.

Jordan is suspected of having a bonus check in excess of $1,000 cut in her name, with no authorization, and has pleaded not guilty to one felony count of grand theft of personal property.

On Thursday, Christiansen argued that the subpoena was unduly burdensome and that the time frame given to produce them was not possible given the nature of volunteer organization.

She also said that Jordan was the keeper of those records, adding, “To our understanding, she purged a lot of the documents when she took over as executive director.

“They are not in our possession,” she added. “What we have might be incomplete, if we can find them at all.”

Christiansen asked for at least another month to search for the requested records, and a further felony conference was set for Nov. 3.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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