San Juan Ridge resident in neighbor dispute accepts plea deal
A San Juan Ridge woman charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly hitting her neighbor’s son with her truck, and trying to hit her neighbor with the vehicle, has accepted a plea deal and will avoid a jury trial.
Under the terms of the deal, Artemesia Lee, 71, pleaded no contest to one count of disturbing the peace, a misdemeanor, in the July 8, 2014 incident.
She is set to be sentenced at 9:30 a.m. July 31 in Department 4 of Nevada County Superior Court.
The assault with a deadly weapon charges against her will be dropped; Lee had previously entered a not guilty plea on those charges.
Christopher Silva, Lee’s neighbor near Malakoff Diggins State Park, in November testified that Lee drove onto his property in a truck on the morning of July 8, 2014 and was looking for her dogs.
Silva said Lee brought up a past dispute between the two neighbors; Silva’s wife Margaret came outside and Margaret and Lee exchanged words.
Silva testified that Lee then began backing the truck up to turn it around. Silva said he and his son, Kyle, were walking alongside the truck when it “lunged” forward at the two men.
Silva said he jumped on the hood of the truck and rolled off, but the truck hit Kyle, who fell to the ground.
Silva said he and Kyle then followed the truck down the driveway and threw rocks at it.
A report taken by deputies from the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office documented Kyle’s injuries as including cuts to his hands and glass sliver in his arm.
The report also documented damage to Lee’s truck, which included two broken windows; Lee told Sheriff’s deputies that her truck had been vandalized by the Silvas.
Tamara Zuromskis, Lee’s public defender, argued in November 2014 that there was no evidence that Lee intentionally struck Kyle or tried to strike Christopher Silva.
Lee has had a number of previous legal run-ins involving Silva.
In 2005, she appeared in court after firing a shotgun into the ground; five pellets from the gun hitting Silva’s leg.
At that time, Lee’s supporters said Silva had harassed her for months about an access road to his property; Lee had sought a restraining order against Silva earlier that year.
Lee pleaded no contest to shooting at an inhabited dwelling and was sentenced to four months in jail and five years probation, was required to work 90 hours of community service and was not permitted to access a firearm or go within 100 feet of Silva.
In 2011, Lee allegedly pepper-sprayed Silva and beat him in the head with a stick. The case against Lee was dismissed; however, she was sentenced to eight days in jail after admitting a probation violation.
To contact Staff Writer Emily Lavin, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4230.
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