Ex-Vegas prosecutor takes plea deal in coke case

AP News
Posted: Oct 12, 2011 2:04 PM
Ex-Vegas prosecutor takes plea deal in coke case

An ex-prosecutor who handled some of Las Vegas' highest profile drug cases before he was arrested with a $40 rock of crack cocaine in his car has taken a plea deal of the kind he used to negotiate with celebrities like Paris Hilton and Bruno Mars.

David Schubert, a former Clark County deputy district attorney, quietly pleaded guilty last month to felony unlawful possession of a controlled substance not for sale. A Clark County District Court judge agreed to postpone recording the conviction while the 48-year-old Schubert serves three years' probation, defense lawyer William Terry said Wednesday.

"There's no adjudication of guilt," Terry told The Associated Press. "If he successfully completes the requirements of probation and outpatient drug and alcohol counseling, the case is dismissed and we can apply for it to be expunged."

Court records show Schubert pleaded guilty Sept. 7. A weapon charge stemming from the discovery of a 9mm Glock handgun in his car was dropped.

Deputy Attorney General Thom Gover, the state prosecutor handling the case after the county district attorney's office withdrew, called the plea agreement "a good resolution to the case."

"He's pleading to a felony. It's his first offense," Gover said. The size of the rock cocaine involved was smaller than a penny, and it weighed less than 1/10 of a gram. Schubert also lost his job.

"I don't believe we would get a better resolution if we went to trial," Gover said.

David Chesnoff, the Las Vegas criminal defense attorney who negotiated with Schubert to reach dispositions in the Hilton and Mars cases, called Schubert's plea deal "a fair and just result."

"Like anyone in a personal-use drug case, I'm happy to hear he's seeking help," Chesnoff said.

Hilton, 30, recently completed a year of probation on misdemeanor cocaine possession and obstruction charges after 0.8 grams of cocaine fell out of her handbag following a Las Vegas Strip traffic stop in August 2010.

Mars, 25, whose real name is Peter Hernandez, is serving a year of probation in a bid to clear his record of a felony cocaine possession conviction. He acknowledged in court that he had 2.6 grams of cocaine after a performance at a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino nightclub.

Like Schubert, Mars would have no conviction on his record if he stays out of trouble and meets other conditions of his plea deal.

Schubert had been a prosecutor for 10 years and served for two years as Clark County district attorney's office liaison to a federal drug task force before his arrest. He resigned April 1.

With the criminal case unresolved, the Nevada State Bar hasn't taken action against Schubert, and Terry said Schubert was practicing criminal defense law in Las Vegas.

His sentencing was scheduled Nov. 17 before Clark County District Court Judge Douglas Herndon. A preliminary hearing that had been scheduled Thursday was canceled.