Melissa Eller, 43, appeared in Reno District Court Department 3 on June 14 to be sentenced by Judge Jerry Polaha. Eller, who has already been labeled a habitual criminal and was serving time on both parole and probation, pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement in May. The state, represented by Deputy District Attorney Amos Stege, pointed out that Eller had embezzled approximately $100,000 on her prior case and paid back only 1 percent of that money since being on parole. She had now embezzled approximately $40,000 from a disabled veteran.
Eller, who had accumulated five prior felony convictions, was again labeled as a habitual criminal and sentenced to 15 years in prison with parole eligibility after five years. This sentence will run consecutive to her prior habitual adjudication and probation.
On June 13, 35-year-old Michael Howard appeared in Reno District Court Department 6 before Judge Brent Adams to be sentenced for two counts of possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Howard, who had been released from prison in November 2011, was again arrested in January for possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Howard failed to report to the court related to that charge and was again arrested in March. Additional felony charges followed the arrest in March. In May, Howard pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a stolen motor vehicle as part of a plea agreement.
The state, represented by Deputy District Attorney Kristin Erickson, argued that Howard should be adjudicated a habitual criminal based on the fact that he has accumulated seven prior felony convictions and was arrested only two months after being released from prison on a prior conviction. Howard was found to be a habitual criminal and sentenced to a prison term of no more than 20 years with parole eligibility after eight years. Howard also received a two- to 10-year sentence to run concurrent for possession of a stolen motor vehicle.