For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks has announced that Elizha Dylan Ortega-Reeves, age 20, from Fernley has been sentenced to 48 years in prison related to convictions in two separate criminal cases. Ortega-Reeves pled guilty to three counts of Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Personal Injury in March and was sentenced to a maximum term of 45 years in prison for the charges last Tuesday by Washoe County District Court Judge Egan Walker. In addition, Ortega-Reeves was also sentenced to a consecutive term of 36 months for an unrelated probation violation linked to a previous conviction for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. Ortega-Reeves must serve a minimum of 16 years in prison before parole eligibility begins.
On June 4, 2020 the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) responded to a report of an injury accident. The reporting party stated that he and two other juvenile passengers were in a vehicle driven by Ortega-Reeves when he accelerated on a dangerous curve, crashed and then rolled in the area of Red Rock Road. The juvenile added that Ortega-Reeves and a fourth juvenile fled the scene after the accident and that there were injuries to those on scene. Of note, the reporting juvenile, who sustained a broken arm in the crash, reported he had begged Ortega-Reeves to come assist him in freeing the other two juveniles from the burning vehicle, as they were trapped and unconscious. When WCSO deputies arrived, they found the vehicle engulfed in flames and the three juveniles located near the vehicle. It was later determined that the juvenile with the broken arm had acted heroically and went into the burning vehicle to free his friends and save their lives. One victim, a 16-year-old female, was critically injured in the crash and was transported by Careflight to Renown Hospital. This victim sustained skull and facial fractures requiring intensive care and multiple surgeries, while the other trapped juvenile suffered a broken back. The subsequent investigation confirmed Ortega-Reeves as the driver of the vehicle and determined that he had been traveling more than twice the speed limit on Red Rock Road when his vehicle hit a curve and rolled several times. In addition, Ortega-Reeves was found to be a registered sex offender and was arrested on a probation violation. Conditions of his probation included not being in the presence of juveniles.
At sentencing, Deputy District Attorney (DDA) Nathan MacLellan argued that if the defendant had complied with his sex offender registration, these juveniles would have never had to suffer from this horrific event. In this case, the juvenile with the broken arm thought not of himself or his safety, but only of his colleagues trapped in that burning vehicle. When he informed the defendant that they were trapped and he needed help to free them, the defendant made the conscious decision to flee and leave them for dead. But for the heroic actions of that juvenile, climbing into a burning vehicle with a broken arm and dragging his friends to safety, they both would have burned alive.