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News Briefs, Dec. 12

House fire sends one to hospital

A Tuesday, Dec. 10, morning fire at 1322 Esther Drive destroyed the garage, damaged the home and sent one person to the hospital with minor injuries.

The Boulder City Fire Department responded to the fire around 10 a.m. and found the garage engulfed in flames. They were assisted by Henderson Fire Department.

One person had minor smoke inhalation and was taken to the hospital as a precaution. Another person and the pets that were inside the home escaped uninjured.

The garage was destroyed and the home had smoke and water damage.

“My heart go out to the resident, as the holiday season is an especially tough time to deal with a serious fire like this,” said City Manager Al Noyola. “Our firefighters immediately took action to ensure the public’s safety. Their fast action kept the fire from spreading throughout the attached home.”

Investigators believe a faulty lithium battery charger inside the garage sparked the fire.

Trial set in fatal accident case

A driver involved in a fatal crash on Boulder City Parkway in March will face trial after he rejected an offer to plead guilty to lesser charges in district court.

Joshua Buckingham was charged with the felony charges of second-degree murder and reckless driving after the sedan he was driving struck a pickup March 7, killing its driver, Randy Reiner, 58, of Las Vegas.

At a Dec. 5 hearing in Nevada’s Eighth District Court, Buckingham officially rejected the state’s offer to plead guilty to plead guilty to one count of reckless driving resulting in death and one count of battery with substantial bodily harm.

During the hearing, attorney Michael Giles with the Clark County district attorney’s office said the state’s offer was revoked because Buckingham was rejecting it.

Judge Valerie Adair asked Buckingham, who was present in court for the first time since his Aug. 1 arraignment, if it was still his desire not take the plea, knowing it would be revoked.

He said yes.

Adair scheduled his trial for July 6 with a status check hearing at 9:30 a.m. March 3 and a calendar call hearing July 2.

If convicted of second-degree murder, Buckingham faces life imprisonment with the possibility of parole or a 25-year sentence with the possibility of parole. Parole eligibility for either sentence would start after he served 10 years.

According to the indictment, Buckingham was traveling 90 miles an hour more than the speed limit in a residential area between 7-7:30 a.m. on a school day.

According to other media reports, Buckingham said he was driving 130 mph and admitted to taking prescription drugs before leaving a casino and heading south.

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