No re-trial, Nevada City man takes plea agreement in assault case
A Nevada City man facing a re-trial on assault and vandalism charges has opted to take a plea agreement in return for time served.
Paul Warde Switzer, 55, had been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism, and criminal threats in connection with an incident on Jan. 2. 2019. Authorities claimed Switzer used a splitting maul to repeatedly hit another man’s truck, smashing the windows, hitting him in the back and threatening to kill him.
Nevada County Deputy Public Defender Tamara Zuromskis argued during a February trial that Switzer was acting in self-defense and was in legitimate fear of his life. The jury found Switzer not guilty of making criminal threats and was hung on the two other charges.
At the time, Deputy District Attorney Casey Ayer said she planned to re-try Switzer on the assault and vandalism charges. But on March 2, Switzer pleaded guilty to vandalism.
“We reached a felony, local prison, time served resolution,” Ayer said in an email. “We will not be re-trying the case but we are satisfied with this resolution, in which Mr. Switzer pleaded guilty taking responsibility for the vandalism damage that he did.”
Both Ayer and Zuromskis noted that Switzer had already served more than a year in county jail.
Zuromskis stressed a jury had found Switzer not guilty on one charge and hung 9 for not guilty and 3 for guilty on the other two charges.
“Mr. Switzer reluctantly decided to accept a deal that allowed him to be released from custody immediately,” she said.
Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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