In Inyo County court news- a trial in an assault with a deadly weapon case geared up on Monday but has now concluded. According to assistant District Attorney Mark Johnson, 53 year old Vernon Kinney was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, a felony, as well as felony criminal threats.
On Tuesday, day 2 of the trial, Johnson reports that Kinney plead no contest to the felony criminal threats. This carried a three years in prison. Johnson says that Kinney also admitted that to serving two prison terms in the past, which added two more years to the sentence for a total of five years in state prison.
The criminal threats conviction is believed to be Kinneys second strike under the California three strikes law. Johnson says that the first strike was in 1979 before the three strikes law so there is technically a legal question as to whether or not that conviction counts as a strike.
According to Assistant DA Johnson, in 1979 Kinney was convicted of assault with force likely to create great bodily injury after an assault by Kinney and two others left Marcello Vargas beaten, stabbed and thrown in the canal.
With the sentence agreed to, Johnson reports that Vernon Kinney now awaits transport to the State Department of Corrections.