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Jail inmate stabs self in head with pencil

A Nye County Detention Center inmate awaiting sentencing in a drug trafficking case could be facing new charges after he allegedly fought with deputies when they attempted to stop him from hurting himself over the weekend.

Around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Robert James Walsh, 35, allegedly began causing a disturbance in one of the housing units at the jail.

When deputies responded, Walsh allegedly became more disruptive, stabbing himself in the head with a pencil and hitting his head and body against the concrete walls, metal bed and windows of his cell, causing him to bleed.

When deputies told Walsh to stop, the inmate allegedly refused, telling officers he wanted to “put (them) through the wall,” and that he was prepared to physically resist them.

Once additional deputies arrived at the housing unit as back-up, officers made entry into Walsh’s cell.

Police said Walsh then attacked deputies, and in doing so, smeared blood on them as they attempted to subdue him.

According to a declaration of arrest on the matter, it took six deputies to finally restrain the combative Walsh.

Walsh was then treated for his injuries before being booked back into the jail on additional charges of unlawful acts related to human excrement or bodily fluid, six counts of battery by a prisoner on a deputy, injury to property, resisting arrest and habitual criminal.

In the course of the altercation, five of the six responding deputies’ uniforms were ruined after they said they were heavily soiled in Walsh’s blood. The total cost of the damaged uniforms was estimated at $750.

Walsh was being held at the NCDC without bail awaiting sentencing after a jury convicted him in January of high-level methamphetamine trafficking.

The charge stemmed from an October 2011 drug sting where a confidential informant for the sheriff’s office set up a drug deal with Walsh in Las Vegas to transport two ounces of meth to a “buyer” in Pahrump.

Walsh and his two co-defendants, Jeannie Cheney, 33, and Jennifer Cotner, 36, were arrested on Oct. 27, 2011 in the Rebel parking lot, located at the intersection of State Routes 160 and 372, after police searched their vehicle and discovered a clear Tupperware container with two bags containing approximately 54 grams of meth inside.

Both Cheney and Cotner have either already taken a plea deal or made statements before the court that they plan to do so in the case.

Although Walsh was found guilty of high-level trafficking, the jury found him not guilty of two additional charges of conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substance Act and obtaining and using personal identifying information of another person to harm or impersonate the person, to obtain certain non-public records or for other unlawful purpose, which also stemmed from the same incident.

According to his newest arrest report, a records check revealed Walsh has been convicted of at least five prior felonies, including some for violent crimes.

Bail for the new charges was set at $43,140.

Walsh is expected to appear in District Court on April 4 to be sentenced in the drug trafficking case.

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