weather icon Clear

Horn pleads not guilty in court appearance

A Nye County Sheriff’s patrol sergeant pleaded not guilty to multiple drug and theft charges in District Court on Friday.

Sgt. Michael Horn, 38, was arraigned before Judge Kimberly Wanker, who forced the 10-year veteran cop to take a urine test for drugs before she proceeded with the hearing.

After passing his drug test, Horn was advised of the formal charges against him. He faces the possibility of prison time if found guilty.

He is charged with oppression under color of office, a gross misdemeanor, misconduct of a public officer, a category E felony, theft against a person 60 years old or older, a category C felony, theft, a category B felony, possession of a controlled substance, a category E felony, and fraudulent appropriation of property, a category D felony.

He pleaded not guilty as each charge was read aloud.

Horn was arrested on Jan. 25 after fellow officers orchestrated a sting involving prescription medication being stored in the sheriff’s office’s evidence room. Horn was caught stealing medication that had been earmarked for disposal as part of a sheriff’s office community program.

While waiting for Horn to show up for work the day he was arrested, officers learned that the sergeant responded to a call for service at an elderly woman’s home. He allegedly took prescription medication from the woman after telling her, falsely, it had expired. The pills were later discovered in his uniform pocket.

Horn was also charged in a separate incident from October 2012, where he collected a load of pills from the home of a woman diagnosed with cancer. The woman later died. A caregiver had given Horn the woman’s trove of medicine to dispose of. It is alleged in charging documents that the sergeant pilfered morphine pills from the cache of medicine.

When he was arrested, police discovered $23,000 worth of allegedly stolen narcotics in Horn’s patrol car, according to a police report on the matter.

Horn was placed on paid administrative leave after he was given a medical recognizance release from jail. Much to the ire of some co-workers, Horn has been on paid leave ever since his arrest. He entered a rehabilitation program after his arrest, which delayed a pending internal affairs investigation. Now that he is back, an internal affairs investigation should be completed soon.

Sheriff Tony DeMeo said he could not comment on the status of the internal investigation when asked Tuesday. Horn is the son-in-law of Assistant Sheriff Rick Marshall, one of two candidates for sheriff in the upcoming November election.

Horn will likely be placed on unpaid leave after his IA is complete and may be terminated from his job.

Horn’s attorney, Rob Ryan, agreed with prosecutors that any trial would likely last between five and seven days. A calendar call was scheduled for Oct. 23, 2015, with a criminal trial set for Nov. 30 through Dec. 4 and possibly into Dec. 7-8, 2015, if necessary.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
RAM event: Free medical clinic needs your help

Next weekend, Remote Area Medical will be bringing its pop-clinic to the valley for the eighth straight year and members of the local host group committee are urging the public to get involved by donating their time to this life-changing event.

USO Benefit Show set to be the best yet — here’s how to get a ticket

The Nevada Silver Tappers are well-known for their patriotic routines and their generosity to the veteran community and this October, these elements will combine into two nights of fantastic fundraising with the annual USO Benefit Show.

How a Soroptomist scholarship helped a Pahrump mom of 3

Embarking on an educational path as an adult can be challenging and for those acting as head-of-household, it can be all the more difficult.

A Smoky Valley curtain call: Youth theater debuts a Disney classic

Andrew Sweeney played multiple roles as the prince, the beast, Monsieur D’Arque and the baker. “My favorite part of BATB JR was getting to be part of the team and meeting all the other cast members,” he said. “I didn’t feel nervous because we were very prepared for the performance.”

Peek inside this senior-living community’s gardens (GALLERY)

Spring Mountain Apartments, a low-income senior living community in Pahrump, has a brand new community garden to enjoy thanks to a partnership with two of the valley’s major nonprofit organizations, the NyE Communities Coalition and the Master Gardeners with the University of Nevada, Reno Cooperative Extension.

1,000-plus cats and dogs spayed/neutered

In just seven months’ time, Tails of Nye County has managed to spay or neuter over 1,000 stray cats and personal pets in the Pahrump area with the help of funding from the Nye County American Rescue Plan Act Grant Program.

Want to seek public office? 2 seats up for appointment on Beatty Town Advisory Board

The deadline is 5 p.m. Oct. 30 to submit letters of interest to fill two seats on the Beatty Town Advisory Board that are up for reappointment after the end of the year. Letters of interest can be submitted to the Beatty Town Office. What you need to know.

Lakeview Golf Course on the upswing

Lakeview Executive Golf Course will remain under the operation of CourseCo for another five years, following renewal of a management contract with the town of Pahrump. Here’s how the troubled course turned itself around.