Judge temporary suspends case in Fernley kidnapping, killing

August 23, 2022 GMT

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A rural justice of the peace has suspended proceedings in justice court for a man accused of kidnapping and killing a Fernley teenager until a state judge can decide whether he should undergo a competency examination.

Canal Township Justice of the Peace Lori Matheus originally ordered Troy Driver of Fallon to appear in Lyon County District Court for a competency hearing before a preliminary hearing is scheduled in her Fernley courtroom next month.

Her new ruling says that state law requires her to suspend further proceedings “if a doubt arises as to the competency of the defendant.”

“The district court can make the necessary orders regarding any required examinations in this case,” Matheus wrote Aug. 22.

Meanwhile, Driver’s lawyers continue to argue he can’t legally be tried in Lyon County for the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Naomi Irion, which occurred in neighboring Churchill County.


Matheus earlier set a preliminary hearing Sept. 13-15 to determine if there’s enough evidence to bound him over for trial. She also had planned to hear jurisdictional arguments then.

Driver faces six charges in addition to first-degree murder, including sexual assault, robbery and destroying evidence.

Prosecutors maintain he can be tried in Lyon County on all charges because he kidnapped Irion from a Walmart there before he shot and buried her “all as one continuous course of conduct.”