For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office has released the verdict in a recent felony DUI trial. The defendant in the case was found guilty on one count of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and faces up to 15 years in prison. Sentencing in the case is set for July 26, 2018 in Department 1 of Washoe County District Court.
Jessie Edward Lovell, 36 (DOB 12/9/81) from Reno was found guilty of one count of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol With a Prior Felony Driving Under the Influence Conviction. Lovell was arrested in February, 2018 by the Sparks Police Department after a traffic stop for an obscured license plate. During the stop, Lovell displayed various signs of impairment including confusion when looking for registration and insurance items. Lovell admitted to drinking “two beers” and displayed many impairment clues during a field sobriety test. Lovell was arrested and booked on a felony DUI charge based on the fact that he had a prior conviction for felony DUI in 2013 for which he served time in prison. In Nevada, a prior conviction for a felony DUI allows subsequent DUI offenses to be charged as felonies. Following Lovell’s arrest, this office filed formal criminal charges against him and the case proceeded to trial.
During trial, Deputy District Attorney Christopher Day and Deputy District Attorney Jeff Hoppe argued that the evidence against Lovell was overwhelming, including the fact that his blood alcohol content, .231, was nearly three times the legal limit.
In commenting on the verdict, District Attorney Chris Hicks said “Everyday traffic enforcement by local law enforcement is critical in preventing tragedies related to DUIs and my office is committed to supporting those efforts. Convictions like this are a priority, as these offenders prove time and time again they are willing to casually disregard our safety and the safety of our loved ones traveling our roadways.