Judge rejects plea agreement in Hoover Dam carjacking
KINGMAN — A Superior Court judge on Tuesday rejected the plea agreement for a Las Vegas woman charged in a carjacking and shooting incident south of Hoover Dam.
Raitasha Antoinette Williams-Gardner, 20, pleaded guilty in November to kidnapping and aggravated assault. She had been charged with another count of kidnapping, two other counts of aggravated assault, vehicle theft, criminal damage, armed robbery and endangerment.
Deputy Mohave County Attorney Amy Gardner argued the plea agreement was appropriate because the defendant had no previous criminal history.
Williams-Gardner’s attorney, Robin Puchek, argued that his client was one-tenth as culpable as her co-defendant, Aveyon Lashawn Nevitt. Puchek said Williams-Gardner didn’t know of the kidnapping plan, is employed, has two children, has family support and is polar opposite of the co-defendant.
Superior Court Commissioner Billy Sipe Jr. rejected the plea agreement, ruling that he could not accept that the prosecutor reduced the serious charges from a dangerous offense to a non-dangerous offense.
Sipe allowed Williams-Gardner to withdraw from the plea agreement, reinstated the charges and reassigned the case to Superior Court Judge Derek Carlisle. The plea agreement would have sentenced Williams-Gardner to 71/2 years in prison.
Nevitt, 21, pleaded guilty in October to two counts of kidnapping, vehicle theft and aggravated assault. Other charges including drive-by shooting and armed robbery were dismissed.
Nevitt is expected to be sentenced Feb. 1 to 20 years in prison but Sipe said he might reject that plea agreement as well.
Williams-Gardner and Nevitt are accused of carjacking an Uber driver May 26 in Las Vegas. The couple sat in the back of the car while a ride-share passenger sat in the front seat. Nevitt allegedly held a gun to the driver’s head, telling her to drive south on U.S. 93 into Mohave County.
Nevitt allegedly threatened to shoot the Uber driver and her family, and struck the passenger in the head with the gun. Nevitt also allegedly fired about six shots at a commercial truck south of the Hoover Dam Bridge. The truck’s radiator was hit but the driver was not injured.
Forcing the Uber driver and the passenger out of the car about 20 miles south of Hoover Dam, the suspects sped off at about 120 mph southbound on U.S. 93 toward Kingman. Stop sticks were deployed on the highway near Kingman, causing the vehicle to collide with a bus.
Nevitt and Williams-Gardner fled on foot but were quickly captured. There were no injuries to the bus passengers.