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4:41 PM Mon, Oct. 15th

Carjack suspect's prior robbery conviction could play role in sentencing if found guilty

Raitasha A. Williams-Gardner and Aveyon L. Nevitt

Raitasha A. Williams-Gardner and Aveyon L. Nevitt

KINGMAN – Aveyon Lashawn Nevitt, 20, and 19-year-old Raitasha Antoinette Williams-Gardner, arrested in May for the alleged carjacking of a Las Vegas Uber driver, both appeared in Mohave Superior Court Monday before Judge Billy Sipe.

The state filed an addendum to Nevitt’s indictment alleging that the defendant is a repeat offender with a prior felony conviction in January 2015 for robbery.

Mohave County Deputy Attorney Reed Weisberg, standing in for prosecutor Amy Gardner, said the state is unaware if the robbery conviction was considered a dangerous offense. The judge said if it was a dangerous offense it would “make a significant impact on the range of sentencing.” He directed the state to research the issue.

Nevitt’s bond was reduced from $1 million cash to a $500,000 secured appearance bond June 26. He is facing 12 felony counts in total: two counts of kidnapping, theft of means of transportation, four counts of aggravated assault, drive-by shooting, armed robbery, two counts of criminal damage and endangerment.

Nevitt has requested a speedy trial, which is set to begin Oct.1 and next has a pretrial conference scheduled for 10 a.m. Aug. 20.

The co-defendant in the case, Williams-Gardner, is also facing 12 felony counts including kidnapping, theft of means of transportation, aggravated assault, drive-by shooting, armed robbery and criminal damage. Her bond was reduced from $1 million to $200,000 July 10.

Sipe noted at that time the defendants had allegedly kidnapped the Uber driver, held her captive, and pistol-whipped a passenger in addition to putting a gun against his head. Shots were also fired at a commercial vehicle. However, he found the $1 million bond to be excessive.

Williams-Gardner’s attorney, Robin Puchek, said Monday that a list of defenses has been filed, which includes a defense of duress of necessity. That defense is applicable when a defendant is forced by natural circumstances to choose between two evils, and the criminal act is the lesser evil.

“Which kind of implicates the idea that her family members are probably going to come forward and talk about character traits of peacefulness and honesty,” Puchek said.

Williams-Gardner has requested a speedy trial, which is scheduled to begin Oct. 9. She has a pretrial conference at 10 a.m. Aug. 20 and a final management conference set for Sept. 19.