(LAS VEGAS) — A former Las Vegas prosecutor who handled high-profile drug cases against Paris Hilton and Bruno Mars will experience another side of the justice system after being ordered to spend nine months in jail on felony crack possession charges.
During a sentencing hearing Tuesday, former Deputy District Attorney David Schubert apologized to the court for what he called a “tragedy,” then stood in silence while Clark County District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth handed down his sentence. Ellsworth ordered Schubert to serve three years of probation, which includes paying a $5,000 fine and spending nine months in the county jail in lieu of serving a two- to three-year prison term.
Schubert was arrested last March after police found $40 of crack cocaine and an unregistered 9 mm handgun in his car. He pleaded guilty in September to a felony charge of unlawful possession of a controlled substance not for sale.
Thom Gover, the chief deputy attorney general prosecuting the case, said he did not expect the judge’s decision to be as severe as it was.
“It was within the plea deal,” Gover told ABC News, although he said that judge’s decision was “not typical.”
Ellsworth was the second judge to handle the Schubert’s sentencing after a previous judge recused himself for being unable to remain impartial.
According to the Las Vegas Sun, Clark County District Court Judge Douglas Herndon, who previously worked with Schubert at the district attorney’s office, refused to sentence his former colleague after finding the proposed plea deal too lenient.
“You’re getting a better deal than people you’ve prosecuted, and I don’t think that’s just and proper,” Herndon told Schubert during a December court hearing, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
Schubert must surrender by March 12 to begin his jail sentence.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Tom LoBianco, Deirdre Walsh and Tal Kopan, CNN
Ivana Kottasova, CNN
Kathryn Vasel, CNN