Leyva charged with August pot possession
SUBLETTE COUNTY – A man in custody since his Aug. 31, 2022 arrest for alleged felony assault, strangulation and attempted murder after a domestic dispute was arrested again and charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana two days before the domestic incident, according to court documents.
Nicholas A. Leyva, from Daniel, is accused of possessing marijuana on Aug. 29, allegedly the day a package arrived from his mother, who was charged Dec. 22 with felony delivery of a controlled substance.
Gloria T. DeNava first appeared before Sublette Circuit Court Magistrate Chris Leigh, who upheld her $5,000 cash bond set earlier by Judge Curt Haws. DeNava paid the bond and was released. She appeared before Judge Haws on Jan. 17, represented by public defender Rachel Weksler.
Judge Haws bound her felony case over to 9th District Court, where DeNava goes before Judge Kate McKay for a Feb. 2 arraignment at 9 a.m. He said DeNava could communicate with Leyva but to not talk about her marijuana charge.
DeNava came to Pinedale from California after her son was charged with assaulting his husband, Dr. Stephen Buck Wallace, also of Daniel.
Both cases are built on Sublette County Detective Toby Terrell’s affidavit, who referred to Detective Travis Lanning’s reports of his Sept. 1 search of the home, where marijuana paraphernalia was found in a cabinet, it says.
Wallace was life-flighted to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center after the Aug. 31 incident and being treated for his injuries that day.
When he returned home, Wallace told Lanning Sept. 5 that he found more suspect marijuana and in his fridge and the detective picked them up, records show. Lanning reported to Terrell that Leyva and DeNava texted several times about items they believed to contain THC, according to the affidavit.
Lanning said Wallace told him DeNava sent marijuana to Leyva. Terrell recommended the felony delivery charge.
Now-retired Judge Marv Tyler imposed a $100,000 cash-only bond on the felony charges, which he has not paid. The judge ordered Leyva’s mental evaluation after he pleaded not guilty/ not guilty by reason of mental illness, which suspended the court’s process.
His 9th District Court jury trial is set for March 13.
His misdemeanor pot charge, filed Jan. 19, refers to on or about Aug. 29, 2022, two days before the alleged assault against Wallace, records show. Judge Haws ordered Leyva’s misdemeanor arraignment for Wednesday, Jan. 25.
Wallace attended Leyva’s arraignment; Leyva appeared via videoconference.
With no attorney present, the judge said Leyva could enter a not guilty plea.
“I told the attorney (Alex Freeburg) in the other case and he indicated he would be representing me,” Leyva said.
Judge Haws asked Sublette County Deputy Attorney Adrian Kowalski about bond for the new charge, calling it “an academic exercise” with Leyva still in custody. Kowalski requested payment of the $100,000 cash-only bond plus a new $1,500 cash bond, saying Leyva could be a flight risk if he paid them and was released.
Judge Haws asked Leyva what he thought.
“To be honest, I don’t know,” Leyva said. “I do have a bond hearing coming up in the other case; to (be released) I would have to pay both.”
He asked, “Is ‘$1,500 cash’ standard without surety?”
Haws said, “I try to treat each case as an individual (situation). It’s certainly not the highest request I’ve heard and it’s certainly not the lowest I’ve heard.”
Leyva said a $1,000 surety bond was enough “compared to $100,000 cash.”
Judge Haws acknowledged Kowalski’s concerns of flight risk “if the other bond is paid” but he wasn’t connecting this case to the felony case. He ordered a $1,000 signature bond on Leyva’s promise to return to the courtroom and for neither he nor his mother to talk about their respective charges. Leyva’s trial is set for June 27 at 8:30 a.m.
After the hearing, the Pinedale Roundup asked Dr. Wallace if he ever had marijuana in his house.
“I have never had marijuana in my house,” Wallace said.