Hearing postponed for Nevada man accused in kidnap, killing

Posted at 7:07 AM, April 5, 2022 and last updated 9:00 PM, August 7, 2023

By SCOTT SONNER Associated Press

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A pretrial hearing has been postponed until next month for a rural Nevada man accused of kidnapping and killing an 18-year-old woman whose body was found last week in a high-desert grave weeks after prosecutors say he abducted her.

This photo provided by Lyon County Detention Center shows Troy Driver, 41, of Fallon, Nev., following his arrest Friday, March 25, 2022. (Lyon County Sheriff’s Office)

Troy Driver’s pretrial hearing scheduled Tuesday on a kidnapping charge was continued to May 10 as prosecutors continue to prepare an amended criminal complaint formally charging him in the death of Naomi Irion of Fernley, authorities said Monday.

Driver, 41, of Fallon, has been held in the Lyon County Jail in Fernley on $750,000 bail since he was arrested March 25. He was arraigned in Canal Township Justice Court last Wednesday on a kidnapping charge.

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A preliminary hearing on that charge was scheduled for April 12, with a status update scheduled for Tuesday in court in Fernley. But that was before sheriff’s deputies booked Driver at the jail on suspicion of additional other crimes on Friday, including murder with the use of a deadly weapon, robbery, burglary and destruction of evidence.

“Charges are still pending,” Lyon County District Attorney Stephen Rye said in an email Monday to The Associated Press. He said another arraignment or new bail hearing may be scheduled after a new complaint is filed.

Irion had been missing since March 12, when surveillance video showed a masked man wearing a hooded sweatshirt get into her car about 5:25 a.m. in a Walmart parking lot in Fernley about 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of Reno.

Naomi Irion (Lyon County Sheriff’s Office)

The Lyon County sheriff’s office disclosed hours after Driver was arraigned for kidnapping last week that an autopsy confirmed her remains had been found the day before in neighboring Churchill County.

On Monday, Judge Lori Matheus approved a joint stipulation signed by Driver’s public defender, Mario Walther, and Lyon County Deputy District Attorney Brian Haslem continuing the proceedings.

It resets the pretrial hearing for May 10, when a new date also will be determined for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to bound the case over for trial in Lyon County District Court in Yerington.

Walther didn’t respond Monday to phone calls or emails seeking comment.

Driver has a violent criminal history and served more than a decade in prison in California before he was released in 2012.