Pot-theft suspect enters plea
A second defendant accused of trying to steal medical marijuana from San Juan Ridge residents pleaded not guilty to 11 felony counts Tuesday at his arraignment in Nevada County Superior Court.
Michael Brewer’s bail was later reduced from $750,000 to $500,000 after his defense lawyer, Stephen Munkelt, argued that evidence shows Brewer might not have used a gun during the Oct. 3 incident at the Lake City Road house.
Judge M. Kathleen Butz set a felony conference for Jan. 31.
Brewer was expressionless during most of the hearing but sometimes shared a smile with his parents in the courtroom.
The 23-year-old Nevada City man was arrested in St. Joseph, Mich. last week – nearly six weeks after his co-defendant, 23-year-old Barnabus O. Gray, was arrested in Sacramento County. Gray is being held on $1.5 million bail.
The two are accused of trying to break into a marijuana greenhouse after driving there in a stolen Ford Explorer. The alleged victims told Sheriff’s Office investigators that two men shot at them while trying to steal marijuana and again before driving away, as two people pulled up in a Ford pickup in response to the commotion.
A Sheriff’s Office report, Munkelt said, suggests Brewer said “hold on, hold on” as shots were fired. The same report cites an alleged victim claiming Brewer had frequently partied at the Lake City Road house and had shared plans to steal the marijuana there.
The report isn’t clear how many suspects were involved.
In all, Brewer is charged with four counts of assault with a firearm, two counts of discharging a firearm at an occupied vehicle, and one count each of attempted robbery, vehicle theft, attempted theft, conspiracy to commit theft and conspiracy to commit robbery.
Assistant District Attorney Ron Wolfson said the charges can be filed against someone accused of aiding and abetting such crimes.
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