weather icon Clear

Reckless driving penalties in Nevada may increase with Rex’s Law

Updated May 11, 2023 - 9:05 pm

CARSON CITY — Maximum penalties for reckless driving may soon be increased under a bill heard Tuesday.

An amended version of Senate Bill 322, which would increase the penalty for reckless driving causing bodily harm or death to a term of six to 10 years, was presented to the Assembly Judiciary Committee by bill sponsors Sen. Jeff Stone, R-Henderson, and Assemblyman Toby Yurek, R-Henderson.

Lawmakers were joined by Jason Patchett, whose 13-year-old son, Rex, was killed when a driver going more than 90 mph lost control of his car and struck the teenager in front of his middle school last year.

“If the facts of the reckless driving case are as egregious and extreme as the one where my son was killed, and those facts do not warrant a prison sentence of more than six years, I cannot even begin to imagine, nor would I even want to imagine, a set of facts more egregious or extreme that would,” Patchett said.

The driver who struck Rex, 21-year-old Jose Marmolejo, received six years in prison with the possibility of parole, the current maximum sentence for reckless driving.

Nicknamed Rex’s Law, the bill would increase that penalty to between six and 10 years if the vehicle was going more than 50 mph above the posted speed limit at the time of the collision, or if the reckless driving occurred in a pedestrian safety zone or school zone. The bill was amended before being approved unanimously on the Senate floor in mid-April. The original version would have increased the penalty to between eight and 20 years if a driver was speeding at more than 50 mph over the posted speed limit.

Several groups spoke in support of the bill, including the cities of Henderson and North Las Vegas, Clark County and the Clark County School District, the Nevada District Attorney’s Association and the Metropolitan Police Department.

Contact Taylor R. Avery at TAvery@reviewjournal.com. Follow @travery98 on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Meet the 12 contestants competing for the 2023 Miss Pahrump crown — PHOTOS

The Miss Pahrump Pageant will take place Saturday, June 3 at 6:30 p.m. inside the Saddle West Showroom. Doors will open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission or $15 for VIP tickets. To reserve a ticket contact the organization at MissPahrumpPageant@gmail.com.

Halcyon CEO: Plan to build hydrogen plant in Nye differs from other proposals

While Halcyon’s proposal has similarities to other energy projects in the region, company CEO Monte Burton said it includes key differences, including a contractual guarantee that would return a percentage of the company’s profits to the community.

Pahrump doctors could get their day in court

A Nye County judge has agreed to hear claims in a case filed by two Pahrump clinicians against P3 Health Partners Inc. which acquired their local practice in a multimillion-dollar deal before shutting down their clinic.

Gone but never forgotten: A salute to America’s fallen heroes

VFW Post #10054 hosted its Memorial Day Ceremony on Tuesday, with several dozen area residents, both veterans and civilians alike, gathered beneath the pergola for the morning ceremony.

Nye County school superintendent to leave district in June

A Nye County resident said he felt the school district had recovered from the pandemic slower than the rest of the state under the superintendent’s leadership.