Nevada County judge sentences alleged vehicle thief to two years |

Nevada County judge sentences alleged vehicle thief to two years

A New Orleans man arrested in 2017 after allegedly fleeing from California Highway Patrol officers in a stolen Jeep was sentenced Friday to two years in state prison.

Joseph Lewis Haskins, 36, was pulled over on McCourtney Road by a CHP officer on Nov. 3, 2017, and then fled after the officer found the Jeep had been reported stolen out of Virginia.

Haskins reportedly abandoned the Jeep after it struck a fence at the intersection of Lime Kiln Road and Vintage Drive, before fleeing on foot into a property in the 17000 block of Vintage Drive. A woman on the property called to report he was in the garage, and he was located and detained without further incident.

Haskins was charged with felony reckless evasion, vehicle theft and possessing stolen property. He pleaded no contest to the evasion charge in October 2018, failed to appear for sentencing in January and was taken into custody in April.

Nevada County Superior Court Judge Candace Heidelberger sentenced him on Friday to a two-year prison sentence as part of the plea agreement, dismissing the remaining counts.

All charges remain in child sex case

A Superior Court judge found no cause to dismiss two charges in a child sex case with two victims dating back to 2001.

Louis Ray Woodward, 53, is charged with three counts of lewd acts on a child, one with a special allegation of use of a deadly weapon; and one count each of sexual intercourse with a child 10 or younger and of continuous sexual abuse. The charges involve two victims, prosecutors have said.

One of the victims reportedly told someone about incidents that occurred between 2012 and 2014. That disclosure led authorities to began investigating a second victim’s allegations from 2001.

Woodward’s trial had been set to start March 5, but was postponed due to issues with evidence stored on a computer disk.

On Friday, Judge Candace Heidelberger denied a motion by Woodward’s defense attorney to dismiss one count each of lewd acts on a child and continuous sexual abuse of a child, based on an issue regarding the statute of limitations.

Woodward will return to court on May 31 to set a trial date.

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

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