Nevada County judge denies lower bond in kidnapping case |

Nevada County judge denies lower bond in kidnapping case

Elliot Winston Black

Elliot Black dragged the woman across Highway 49, threw her into the back of a van and put duct tape across her mouth and around her hands, the Nevada County prosecutor said.

Black, 29, used a stun gun on the woman. He pepper sprayed her. Black later poured lighter fluid on her, some of which splashed on her daughter, Deputy District Attorney Ed Grubaugh argued Monday in Nevada County Superior Court.

“In the back of the van she thought she would never see her daughter again, which is what she told police,” Grubaugh added. “He is the definition of a significant danger to the public.”

The prosecutor argued why Black — accused early this month of kidnapping, inflicting corporal injury on a specified person, criminal threats, and child abuse or endangerment — should remain jailed on $750,000 in bond. Deputy Public Defender Tamara Zuromskis, who represents Black, said her client’s bail amount far exceeded the set schedule.

“One hundred and forty thousand dollars,” Zuromskis said, asking for lower bond. “That’s a heavy bail. That will secure his appearance in court.”

Judge Candace Heidelberger opted against changing the bond after hearing from both attorneys and the victim, who dated Black.

“I’m terrified for my daughter’s safety,” the victim cried. “He told me that when he got his hands on me the next time he would kill me.”


According to Grubaugh, the kidnapping happened on March 29 and lasted two days. Black and the victim were arguing in a vehicle. At some point the victim tried to move to the vehicle’s rear. Black then forced her from the vehicle, and she tried to hide behind a tree after failing to flag down passing cars.

Black then found the victim and threw her into the vehicle, the prosecutor said.

“He wound up using a stun gun on her,” he added.

Pepper spray, coupled with duct tape over her mouth, led the victim to periodically lose consciousness, Grubaugh said. He’s still considering whether to charge Black with torture.

Zuromskis said the woman was taken to her own home, adding no firearms were involved. She stayed at her home even after Black left at some point.

If released on bond, Black had two other places to stay, Zuromskis said.

The judge said Black’s accusations involve two victims — the woman and her daughter — over two days.

“I haven’t heard anything here that changes my opinion,” she said of the bail amount.

Contact Alan Riquelmy at 530-477-4239 or 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.


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