For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office has secured a conviction in a recent trial related to a March, 2016 robbery of a local convenience store that resulted in the shooting of the store’s owner. Habitual criminal sentencing is being sought based on the defendant’s lengthy criminal history of seven felony convictions spanning 30 years. In announcing the guilty verdict, DA Hicks stated, “The facts of this case and its impact on the victim, coupled with the defendant’s vast criminal history, highlights the importance of aggressively prosecuting and severely punishing habitual criminals”. Two co-defendants were also charged in connection with this case.
Kevin Scott Clausen, 52, from Reno was found guilty last Friday evening on one count of Robbery With the Use of a Deadly Weapon, one count of Attempted Murder with the Use of a Deadly Weapon, and one count of Battery with the Use of a Deadly Weapon Causing Substantial Bodily Harm after a jury trial that began last Monday in Washoe County District Court. Additionally, Clausen pled no contest to a related count of Ex-felon in Possession of a Firearm earlier today. Two co-defendants, who participated in the crime in varying degrees, pled guilty to related charges earlier this year. David William Coyne, 46, from Sacramento, California pled guilty to one count of Accessory to Robbery in August and was sentenced to 5 years in prison with parole eligibility after 19 months. Leslie Ann Ramos, 55, from Reno pled guilty in July to one count of Robbery and was sentenced to 10 years in prison with parole eligibility after a minimum of 4 years has been served. The owner of the convenience store suffered a gunshot wound to the left side of her head, resulting in permanent disfigurement and lasting physical side effects.
The case against Clausen began on March 4, 2016 when the Reno Police Department (RPD) responded to a report of a robbery and shooting that had just occurred at the 7-Eleven located at 800 S. Wells Avenue. Once on scene, RPD officers provided immediate assistance to the store’s owner, who was suffering from a gunshot wound to the left side of her head. The victim was able to provide a description of the suspect and robbery, which was heard over the radio by an officer from the Washoe County Department of Alternative Sentencing (DAS) who responded to the area. That officer saw an individual matching the suspect’s description enter the passenger side of a vehicle near the scene, which then sped off. The DAS officer followed the vehicle as it was being driven erratically and witnessed the passenger throw items of evidence out the window. A traffic stop was conducted and the passenger was identified as Kevin Scott Clausen. Clausen was subsequently arrested for his involvement in the robbery. Bank bags stolen from the victim were located at the scene of the vehicle stop, which Clausen had thrown when exiting the getaway vehicle in an apparent attempt to hide evidence. The DAS officer was also able to locate the firearm used in the commission of the crime. This officer knew the area well and he diligently searched alleyways and located the weapon in a trash can a few blocks from the convenience store. The bank bags and firearm were later tested by the Washoe County Crime Lab and found to contain the DNA of Clausen. Additionally, the spent shell casing found at the scene of the shooting was determined to have been fired from the recovered firearm. A subsequent investigation by the Reno and Sparks Police Departments determined that Clausen had been assisted by Ramos in targeting the victim when she was leaving the store to make a bank deposit. Ramos was a regular customer of the store and was familiar with the owner’s routine. During an interview with police, Ramos admitted knowing that Clausen had planned to rob the 7-11 and assisted him by texting him when the victim left the store with the money. The investigation also determined that Coyne had prior knowledge that the robbery would occur and that he assisted in the flight of Clausen after he committed the crime. This office subsequently filed formal criminal charges related to each defendant’s role in the planning and commission of the crime.
The case was prosecuted by Chief Deputy District Attorney Kelly Ann Kossow and Deputy District Attorney Adam Cate. At trial, the jury heard from the victim who positively identified Clausen as the person who followed her to her vehicle, demanded money and, before she could respond, shot her in the head and fled with the money. The defendant testified that he did not commit the robbery but that he found a bag in a trash can that contained the two 7-11 money bags, the firearm and a concealed weapon holster. He added that he decided to take the items, but leave the firearm behind.
Sentencing is set for January 13, 2017 in Department 6 of Washoe County District Court. Clausen faces a possible penalty of life imprisonment based on the State’s filing of the Habitual Criminal Enhancement.