A Dixon man once accused in 2010 by Lake County prosecutors of having a role in the murder of a former tribal leader was picked up by police officers in Mesquite, Nevada on February 21. Mesquite officers say Nathan Ross was one of four people riding in an SUV that had been driving the wrong direction.
Authorities say they found drugs, stolen guns and armor-piercing bullets in the vehicle. Authorities say Ross, however, was only arrested for alleged possession of methamphetamine and paraphernalia.
Back in 2010, Ross was one of four people whom Lake County prosecutors accused of having a role in the death of Harold Mitchell Junior, a former tribal leader.
Prosecutors later moved to dismiss charges without prejudice against three of the four, including Ross. Only Clifford Oldhorn was convicted of homicide. Oldhorn had allegedly stopped cooperating with authorities though, and so his previous statements implicating the other three could only be used against himself. Prosecutors decided without Oldhorn’s continued cooperation, they did not have enough evidence against Ross and the two other charged. Ross had pleaded not guilty. Court documents allege Ross poured gasoline around Mitchell’s body, and then left the scene.
According to court records, Oldhorn had claimed he left Mitchell’s house when one of the others began beating Mitchell, but that he remained nearby and heard Mitchell’s screams. A Lake County judge eventually ruled that he had given an involuntary confession, and he was released on his own recognizance earlier this month to wait for a possible new trial. His freedom lasted less than a week however, as he was picked up for allegedly violating his probation from past burglary and theft convictions. His probation violation hearing is set for Wednesday, and he faces up to 25 years in prison.
Lake County Attorney Mitch Young says the Mitchell Junior murder case gets looked at every few months, and authorities are actively trying to develop new evidence on it.