Suspect accused of eluding pursuit denied zero-bail release by Nevada County judge
A man accused of accused of eluding capture after a six-hour pursuit in January lost a recent bid for a zero-bail release.
John Wenzel Niece, 45, also faces allegations of assault with a deadly weapon involving a Yuba County sheriff’s deputy. Additionally, he has an outstanding warrant stemming from a Grass Valley arrest in early 2018, in which he was charged with resisting arrest and providing a false ID. He also faces a 2019 felony evasion case in Nevada County, reports state.
The Jan. 10 pursuit, and Niece’s subsequent arrest two days later, currently is being prosecuted as a violation of post-release community supervision following a case in Shasta County.
Last Thursday, his defense attorney, Larry Montgomery, asked Nevada County Superior Court Judge Robert Tice-Raskin to release his client on his own recognizance even though he had an “excluded” charge of resisting arrest.
The request came after the state Judicial Council adopted a statewide emergency bail schedule that sets bail at zero dollars for most misdemeanor and lower level felony offenses.
Deputy District Attorney Patrick Beauchamp, however, asked for a higher bail, telling Tice-Raskin, “I strongly believe he will not come back of his own accord. His criminal history reflects he has never complied with law enforcement. … Should he be released, he is likely to come back with another violation for reckless behavior.”
Niece asked to address the court, telling Tice-Raskin he has always made his court dates and calling himself an “exemplary” inmate.
“My innocence will be made clear,” he said, asking to be released so he could schedule a surgery and get his work tools into storage.
Tice-Raskin, however, said he remained concerned about the danger to the community and the risk of flight. He set bail in all three of Niece’s Nevada County cases at $60,000. He added conditions that include supervision from the probation department, Niece is set to return to court May 11.
Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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