For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
August 16, 2016
The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office announced today that a Reno man has been sentenced as a habitual felon to 20 years in prison following a recent conviction for possession of a stolen vehicle. The sentence ensures that the man will serve a minimum of 6 years in prison before being eligible for parole.
Mark Alan Williams, 49, pled guilty in February, 2016 to one count of Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle and was sentenced on Thursday, August 11, 2016. The charge generally carries a possible sentence of up to 5 years in prison. However, this Office filed notice of intent to seek habitual criminal sentencing, which increased the potential sentence. This decision was based on Williams’ record that contained 10 previous felony convictions, 4 of which involved stolen vehicles.
The case against Williams began on July 14, 2015 when the Sparks Police Department (SPD) was called to investigate a suspicious silver Honda Civic located at a local sandwich shop. When SPD officers arrived, they observed Williams get out of the car and walk towards them. When officers told Williams to stay where he was, he got back into the Honda and drove away through the parking lot at a high rate of speed. Several minutes later, the same Honda was found empty near a residential intersection where several witnesses reported seeing a man fitting Williams’ description park the vehicle and walk away carrying two backpacks. Williams was found several blocks away by police shortly thereafter and was identified by witnesses as being the man seen leaving the vehicle. The Honda was discovered to have been reported stolen in Reno the previous week and Williams was arrested. This Office subsequently filed formal criminal charges for the stolen vehicle and habitual criminal notice.