Suspect accused of eluding pursuit denied zero-bail release by Nevada County judge |

Suspect accused of eluding pursuit denied zero-bail release by Nevada County judge

John Wenzel Niece

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

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User