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Carson City woman charged with murder in November death of 18-month old toddler

A 23-year-old Carson City woman faces murder charges following the death of an 18-month-old toddler, Justin Watson, in November 2012.

Brittany Michelle Paugh turned herself into the Carson City Sheriff's Office Thursday. She is being held without bail. Charges include first degree murder, child abuse, child abuse causing death, second degree murder with child neglect and child abuse with substantial harm. The toddler died of significant trauma to the brain.

Sheriff Ken Furlong said the arrest came after an extensive investigation that involved medical specialists outside the state.

The arrest was made after the Nov. 10, 2012 incident where Carson City Sheriff Office deputies were called to an apartment complex in the 2200 block of Long Street after an emergency call was made to dispatch by the boy's father who said his son was in distress, bleeding but not conscious. The boy was was taken to Carson Tahoe Hospital and transported to Renown Medical Center where he was removed from life support a few days later. The boy had suffered traumatic injuries to the brain.

The child was, at the time of the report, in the care of Paugh, who called her boyfriend Nic Watson who was not home a the time and told him the child had been injured. Watson then called 911.

Results of the death came back earlier this month, with the DAs office asking for some additional information before the warrant was issued Thursday, said Furlong. Three teams of officers went to look for Paugh and didn't find her. Instead, at about 6 p.m., she turned herself into the sheriff's office where Deputy Bob Guimont booked her.

There are seven people in the Carson City Jail facing murder charges. Four involve the April murder of Nevada insurance examiner William McCune. They are 23-year-old Michael Evans, 20-year-old Makyla Blackmore, 22-year-old Raul Garcia and 20-year-old Anthony Elliott.

Leonardo Cardoza, 27, remains in jail and charged with the Jan. 26 road rage death of 19-year-old Desiree Bragg of Carson City. He has pled not guilty and will face a trial.

And there is the Feb. 3 slaying of James Lay of Carson City. David Grimes, 32, of Dayton faces a murder charge after allegedly shooting Lay during an alcohol-fueled Super Bowl party.

Furlong acknowledges the number of those sitting in jail for murder is high, but statistically, the crime rate has dropped significantly in the areas of violent crime and property crime, for three straight months. According to statistics compiled, crime in these areas is down 10 to 13 percent, Furlong said. April stats show crime was down by 13 percent over the previous year.

May crime stats haven't been released but Furlong believes that stats will show another month of significant decreases in violent crime (robbery, rape, murder, aggravated assaults) and property crime such as theft, burglary and vandalism.

"The extensive media coverage of these high profile event leads the public to believe there is a high crime problem but the statistics point otherwise," Furlong said. "The crime rate is lower because of the public's help, people getting involved, reporting things that appear suspect. It is this and it is the significant and aggressive action of detectives and patrol officers on the street doing the right things on the front."


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On your “Must Not Miss” list, is the popular Downtown Wine Walk – held the First Saturday of every month from 1- 5pm. For just $10 (which supports the Downtown Business Association you’ll receive a commemorative wine glass and endless reasons to sip, stroll, and shop, the afternoon away, through Historic Downtown Carson City. Bring your wine walk glass with the Carson City Logo on it and pay only $8. Don't forget the after Wine Walk raffle prize party, 5:00pm, at the Cabaret Lounge, Carson Nugget Casino!

Tickets can be purchased at Bella Fiora Wines, Cactus Jack’s, Carson Jewelry & Loan, Carson Nugget, and Horseshoe Club, where you will receive hand stamps, glasses, and maps.

Sponsored by the Carson City Downtown Business Association, our goal is to carry on a local tradition, hosting an event which showcases a monthly Downtown celebration. It’s a Saturday stroll with a glass of wine through historic downtown Carson City where boutiques, local shops, galleries, restaurants and casinos, pull out all the stops to awaken your taste buds and tantalize your senses... experience a Downtown taste sensation!.

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The Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Inc., also known as RSVP, has a limited number of free Farmers Market coupons for fresh produce to offer to Carson City low-income seniors through the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program.

More than 100 state workers were evacuated from the Nevada Capitol in Carson City when a fire alarm sounded this afternoon.

Two black bears trapped Tuesday were released back into the wild by Nevada Department of Wildlife wardens. So far, 11 bears have been safely released back into the Sierra since July 1.

Both bears were tagged, tattooed and micro chipped in order to identify them in the future should they come back in to contact with humans. Neither bear had previously been handled by NDOW.

The Wa She Shu It Deh Native American Arts Festival returns to Valhalla at the Tallac Historic site this weekend, July 26-27. The festival celebrates the Washoe's ancient lifeways and their Lake Tahoe homeland.

The festival features traditional American Indian dancers and drum performers, basket weaving displays, art, and great food. Sponsored by the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, this event is free to attend, and open to the public. The festival runs 10 a.m. am to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on Valhalla’s Grand Lawn.

In honor of Nevada’s 150th birthday, the Nevada Sesquicentennial Commission invites all Nevadans to participate in choosing the design for the fourth Sesquicentennial commemorative medallion.

This medallion, the final in the series of four being produced throughout the year, will feature the winning design voted on by Nevadans. Voting begins today, Wednesday, July 23, which marks 100 days until Nevada Day, and ends Thursday, August 7, 2014.

NV Energy has petitioned the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada with the hopes of recovering $78 million in costs associated with implementation of electric and gas smart meters in Northern Nevada.

A hearing on the matter is set for today, Wednesday, July 23, at 6 p.m. in Hearing Room A of the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, 1150 E. William St. in Carson City.

Here is this week's fishing report for rivers, lakes and streams in Nevada and Northern California. This report is for the week of July 23, 2014.

Carson City fire and ambulance are responding tonight to a motorcycle crash in the area of Rabe Way. The call came in at around 7:40 p.m. Care Flight has been ordered and will land near the scene of the accident.

Traffic in the area is being diverted.

CARSON CITY - Eight Airmen from the Nevada Air National Guard joined 160 people from seven nations Monday to provide humanitarian assistance to the citizens of Tonga as part of Operation Pacific Angel-Tonga.

The mission will continue until July 26. Tonga is Nevada National Guard's partner in the National Guard's State Partnership Program, the Department of Defense program that links a state's National Guard with the armed forces or equivalent of a partner country in a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship.

UPDATE: Carson City firefighters responded this afternoon to a 50-year-old woman struck by a vehicle in the area of Stewart and Washington streets. The woman had injuries to her leg, arm and hip areas. She was taken by Care Flight to the trauma ward at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno.

Emergency crews treating her at the scene said she was conscious and alert. The accident happened at around 3:20 p.m.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed Nevada Congressman Mark Amodei’s bill known as Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe – Fish Springs Ranch Settlement Act, by a bipartisan voice vote.

The bill, H.R. 3716, would ratify an agreement between the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and Fish Springs Ranch to resolve a dispute over water rights near Reno. It is expected to be passed by the Senate and signed into law.

July is BEAR Logic Month, a time to teach residents and visitors how to live and recreate in bear county. When a bear in its own habitat is exhibiting normal bear behavior, it’s unlikely to be a cause for concern. NDOW cautions people to never to approach or attempt an interaction with a bear. Of course the best option is to never have a bear encounter in the first place.

The Nevada Performance Academy plans to open this fall despite the passing of founder and former Nevada state superintendent, Gene Paslov who died June 8, 2014 at the age of 80.

The academy currently has 70 applications and is seeking to enroll another 50 students grades 7 through 12 who want to be a part of an innovative school that will work towards a student’s academic success as well as cater to their talents and special interests. The school is located at 1600 Snyder Avenue in Carson City.

We’re not out of the woods with wild weather yet. The National Weather Service says to expect severe thunderstorms around Northern Nevada this afternoon.

According to a special weather statement, a there’s a strong upper level disturbance that will move across northeast California and northwest Nevada.

Abundant moisture and strong winds aloft are favorable for the development of thunderstorms this afternoon with a few becoming severe, according to the weather service.

A Carson City couple were arrested Monday on felony charges after being found engaging in sex acts outdoors where people could see, a Carson City sheriff’s deputy said.

Steven Helton, 28, and Tracey L. Johnson, 44, were arrested at 5:41 p.m. in the grassy area near the DMV at South Carson and Stewart streets.

According to the arrest report, officers responded to a 911 call of a couple having sex in public. Officers met with the caller who pointed to a grassy area south of the DMV and north of Office Depot.

UPDATE: The Chamber Travel Club meeting has been changed to Aug. 6 at 5 p.m. at Red's 395.

Carson Now focuses on local news, but for eight days next spring, we will expand our view all the way to China.

In cooperation with the Carson City Chamber of Commerce, I will be embarking on a tour of China with a group of Carson City residents and businesspeople on April 7-15, 2015.

The Congressional Research Service, a policy research arm of Congress, recently told Congress 76 U.S. corporations have shifted their tax domiciles out of the United States to other countries since 1983 to avoid U.S. taxes.

Moving the tax domicile is known as an “inversion." It is still rare, but it is becoming more common. The Congressional Research Service said 47 such deals have been done in the last 10 years and more are in the works.

Carson City firefighters have a new tool to teach fire safety. "Fire Safety Day," an easy-to-read children's book, follows Owen as he comes home to tell his mom what he learned in school that day.

The book will be featured during two Storytime sessions at the Carson City Library beginning at 10:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on July 24.

Parents and children can simply show up at the library for Storytime and get a free copy of the new book in English or Spanish.

The Fuji Dog Park will be closed to the public as a dog park in Carson City during the NV 150 Fair. This will be from Monday, July 28 to Tuesday, August 5.

The park will reopen as the dog park on Wednesday, August 6. The city parks and recreation department notes it regrets any inconvenience this may cause, and during this time the public is encourage you to visit and enjoy one of its many other “dog friendly” park facilities. Those are:

— Long Ranch Park, Longview Way & Waterford Drive. Dogs are allowed on or off-leash in designated areas of the park.

UPDATE: Strong thunderstorm being tracked 13 miles northeast of Virginia City.
***
National Weather Service meteorologists were tracking two strong thunderstorms this Monday afternoon.

As of 4:21 p.m. the first storm was southeast of Smith Valley moving northwest at 15 mph. The other storm was 18 miles southwest of Yerington and moving northeast at 15 mph.

Lightning is associated with the storms as well as moderate rain and small, pea-sized hail and gusty winds to 50 mph.