weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Court orders psychiatric exams for man who killed rabbits

The Boulder City Justice of the Peace is waiting to issue a sentence for an animal cruelty charge because of its seriousness and for the safety of all the parties involved.

In February, Devon Yslas pleaded no contest to two counts of cruelty to animals, one count of wanton waste of game (amended from hunting out of season), one count of unlawful manner of hunting with aid of artificial light, and hunting without a license or permit after he was arrested Sept. 7 on charges of unlawful camping and making a false statement to/obstructing a public officer.

During that arrest, officers spotted evidence in plain sight that connected him to the mutilation and death of several rabbits the day before in Bootleg Canyon Park.

At Tuesday’s, June 12, status check hearing, Judge Victor Miller said the serious nature of Yslas’ comments about having issues feeling emotions and that killing the rabbits gave him a way to feel emotions, the way the bunnies were placed with red gift bows near them, and how Yslas saved their ears after cutting them off made the actions seem “ritualistic.”

Miller said he wanted to know if Yslas had a psychological problem before sentencing him on one of the animal cruelty charges to ensure the safety of the community and all parties involved with the case, which is why he previously ordered a neurological and psychological evaluation.

“I didn’t want him to go to jail and be the same person after,” he said. “It wouldn’t be safe for the community. … I wanted those to be addressed before sentencing, and they are not.”

Yslas and his attorney, Erick Ferran, did provide a report from Dr. Lewis Etcoff, a licensed psychologist in Nevada, to the court Tuesday, but Miller said that it “caused him some concern” because it seemed incomplete.

“It addresses the neuro part of the report. … (But) I don’t think he was aware of the things in the statement of arrest,” he said.

Ferran said the testing was done late during the week before the hearing and that he did not have any contact with the doctor.

“I wanted the report to be what it was,” he said.

Prosecutor Amy Ferreria, chief deputy district attorney for Clark County, said she had the same concerns as the court.

“I’m concerned because it seemed like that’s all the doctor knows,” she said. “I don’t know if other things were said at the evaluation.”

Miller said they had two options in moving forward: the state could do its own evaluation or Etcoff could do one with all the facts of the case.

“It’s OK for him to do it if the doctor has all the facts and documents of the case,” Ferreria said.

Ferran agreed and said he would provide a packet with all that information to Etcoff.

According to his website, Etcoff has a clinical neuropsychology practice as well as provides forensic services.

The next court hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 10.

For all of the charges brought against Yslas, except the first one of animal cruelty, Miller previously handed out four sentences that would run consecutively, according to court documents.

Those sentences are: six months of suspended jail time per charge for a total of two years; the completion of 200 hours of nonanimal-related community service; the completion of a mental health evaluation and recommended counseling; the completion of an online animal cruelty counseling program at pawsedu.com; payment of a $500 fine or 50 hours of community service; no contact with animals for six months per charge for a total of two years, which will be ensured by random home inspections; $200 restitution fee to an animal control center associated with his home address; payment of a $250 civil assessment fee to the Nevada Department of Wildlife; and to stay out of trouble for six months per charge for a total of two years.

He is on house arrest and wears a monitoring system.

Yslas was originally charged with six counts of overdrive, torture, injure, abandon or starve an animal. Four of the charges were eventually dismissed and the two remaining charges were changed to overdrive, torture, injure, maim, mutilate or kill, which are misdemeanors.

Additionally, he faced another 22 charges: five counts of hunting, trapping or fishing without a license or permit, four which were dismissed; five counts of wanton waste of game, which were dismissed; four counts of hunting out of season, which were dismissed; five counts of hunting outside designated hours, which were dismissed; and five counts of unlawful manner of hunting, four of which were dismissed.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Schools report smooth return

Parents can finally exhale after a long summer of kids in the house as school is back in session in Boulder City. On Monday, Aug. 8, all four schools in town welcomed back students for the 2022-23 school year in an orderly fashion without any mishaps.

Council OKs plan to remove turf

Water was once again the main focus for City Council. At its meeting Tuesday, Aug. 9, an agreement with the Southern Nevada Water Association that will remove turf in Boulder City to save on water was approved 4-0 by the council.

Council gets first look at Nevada Way remodel

The Boulder City Council was introduced to a project that will remodel and rehabilitate the stretch of Nevada Way from Wyoming to Park streets during its meeting Tuesday, Aug. 9.

More human remains found at Lake Mead

More human remains have been found at Lake Mead, according to officials at the national recreation area.

Fire department targets sites to improve response times

Two locations are being targeted for a new Boulder City Fire substation that the City Council approved last month to help the department improve response time to emergencies. The proposed new fire station, labeled Station 122, is looking at sites at Quartzite Road and Nevada Way as well as near the library at 701 Adams Boulevard. The city owns land in both locations.

Ex-manager sues city; claims retaliation

Former City Manager Al Noyola filed a lawsuit against the city Friday, July 29, alleging that his civil rights were violated when he was fired Oct. 13, 2020.

School begins Monday

School is almost back in session for the quartet of schools in Boulder City.

Storms cause minor damage

Monsoon season brought damage to Boulder City as the town was hit with a collection of storms last week. Luckily, the city was able to handle the storms in an efficient manner, according to officials, who dealt with the typical gravel and rock erosion, power outages and roof leaks.

Lend A Hand awarded $101K from state

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Nevada has awarded $30 million in Community Recovery Grants to nonprofit organizations including Lend A Hand of Boulder City. The local organization was one of the 30-plus applicants that received money funded by American Rescue Act Plan dollars.

Drought drives tough talks to cut water use

Nevada and two of its neighboring Southwestern states are still working on ways to drastically cut water use from the Colorado River as a deadline set by the federal government to address the worsening conditions along the river quickly approaches.