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Court summary

With his wife still comatose, a South Lake Tahoe man was sentenced to five years in prison Feb. 4 for causing her injuries in a drunken crash on Highway 20 last spring.

Michael P. Montelbano, 54, insisted at trial that his wife, Karen, was behind the wheel during the April 17 crash near White Cloud Campground that seriously injured her and caused minor injuries to their son and the son’s friend.



The California Highway Patrol showed evidence Montelbano was driving drunk, and a jury convicted him Dec. 19. Montelbano plans to appeal.




A doctor at Karen Montelbano’s nursing home, according to a Probation Department report, said she “has never really progressed to the point of anything other than vegetative now that her eyes are intermittently open.”

In other cases:

— Heidi P. Moschen, 31, of Lake of the Pines was sentenced Feb. 4 to six years in prison for manufacturing methamphetamine. She received credit for serving 235 days.

Nevada City police found Moschen, who has four prior drug convictions, with meth chemicals and equipment during a traffic stop March 23.

— John A. Wyatt, 47, of Grass Valley was sentenced Feb. 4 to three years probation, counseling and $1,255 in fines and fees for methamphetamine possession. Sentenced under Proposition 36, no jail time was imposed.

Grass Valley police found Wyatt with meth during a Sept. 3 traffic stop near his Washington Street home.

— Kenneth Dugan, 38, of Grass Valley pleaded no contest Feb. 4 to domestic abuse. His sentencing is March 18.

The Sheriff’s Office reported Dugan hit and head-butted a woman Nov. 23 at a home near Lime Kiln Road.

— Clinton A. Trudeau, 20, of Doylestown, Pa., pleaded not guilty Feb. 4 to two counts of burglary. He has a preliminary hearing Feb. 14.

Trudeau allegedly took part in two break-ins on the 21000 block of McCourtney Road – on Feb. 24, 2001 and March 5, 2001 – according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Trudeau allegedly dated a Sacramento-area woman already convicted in the March 5 case, in which the victims reported losing gold and silver coins, gold nuggets and $41,500 cash.

— Kenneth W. Painter, 47, and Denise S. Painter, 45, of the Nevada City area had their pleas on drug charges delayed from Thursday until March 7.

Narcotics agents searched their Sneath Clay Road home Dec. 30, and Kenneth Painter was later charged with possession of methamphetamine for sale, possession of methadone and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Denise Painter is charged with meth possession.

— Douglas G. Edwards III, 19, of Nevada City and Michael J. Stevens, 20, of Grass Valley were each arraigned Friday on counts of battery and assault.

Both are accused of beating a fellow inmate Jan. 31 at Wayne Brown Correctional Facility, knocking out the inmate and leaving him with a lacerated skull, according to the District Attorney’s Office, which called the incident a possible case of mistaken identity.

Edwards was already awaiting sentencing for an armed robbery conviction from an attempted marijuana heist on San Juan Ridge.

Stevens also faces charges of vehicle theft, reckless evading of a police officer, check fraud, paraphernalia possession and failure to comply with a court order.


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