Darren Mack - Judge Shooter? - on Trial


June 14, 2007, 12:55 AM
Is anybody on this forum following the case of Darren Mack? He is the guy who supposedly shot the judge presiding in his Divorce proceedings and is also accused of stabbing his wife to death. Any updates would be appreciated. Here is a link to a website following this case:


Here is the text of a recent clipping from that website:


Washoe County District Attorney Richard Gammick lashed out Tuesday at defense lawyers and questioned a judge's ruling that threw out taped phone calls and the alleged confession of Darren Mack, charged with killing his wife and shooting the judge handling their divorce.

Gammick called a news conference to respond to rulings in the case last week by District Judge Douglas Herndon of Clark County, who is presiding over the case in Reno.

Herndon said after a daylong hearing concerning evidence on Friday that Gammick had failed in his duties as a prosecutor by not telling Mack he was represented by lawyers in their conversations while he was a fugitive in Mexico.

On Tuesday, Gammick said a state bar disciplinary panel investigated and dismissed similar issues raised by Justice of the Peace Edward Dannan earlier in the proceedings.

"The State Bar of Nevada found I did not commit any ethics violations," Gammick said, providing copies of a one-paragraph letter from the bar saying the matter was dismissed. The letter did not go into detail.

Gammick also took exception to the judge's ruling that taped telephone conversations between himself and Mack before his surrender could not be used because they were taped without a court order or Mack's consent.

Gammick, a longtime friend of the Mack family, maintained that, because the FBI was involved in the investigation, federal law applied and Mack's consent was not required.

But Scott Freeman, one of Mack's defense lawyers, said the issues Gammick raised were argued by special prosecutors Christopher Lalli and Robert Daskas during last week's hearing before the judge.

"They lost," Freeman said. "We argued the state bar didn't have all the facts."

Charla Mack, 39, was stabbed to death the morning of June 12. Within hours, a sniper shot Judge Chuck Weller through a window of his third-floor chambers at Washoe District Family Court. Weller, who had been handling the Macks' pending divorce, was hit in the chest. He was hospitalized and released.

Darren Mack fled the area and spent 11 days on the run before he surrendered June 23 in Mexico. He has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of murder and attempted murder. Trial is set for Oct. 1.

Herndon was appointed to preside over the case after Washoe County judges were disqualified due to a potential conflict of interest

Here is the link referenced for that article:


Does anybody have details of the incident? Does anybody know the status of the Judge who was shot? Did he have a complete recovery and is he currently active on the bench?


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June 14, 2007, 01:12 AM
At one time I saw the story on one of the 60 Minutes type news shows.

The judge did recover quickly. The flight path of the bullet must have been deflected when going through the window glass, so it was not a well placed shot. Apparently the judge did not have a good reputation for being fair.

The case sounded to me like Mack lost it from anger over the divorce and custody rulings and went after both his wife and the judge. My bet is that the probability that he is guilty is very high, but that is just based on whatever I remember from the tv story, plus how typical that a wife murder during or after divorce is the husband's doing.

June 14, 2007, 06:47 AM
I'm in Reno, the local right wing talking head (Bill Manders 780 KOH am )
feels he might get away with it, Mack hired some good lawyers.
The Judge is fine....wife is still dead.
At first everyone in Reno was all for him until they announced he killed his wife.
People still don't like the judge though.

June 14, 2007, 07:52 AM
IIRC he used an AR15 to shoot the judge.

June 14, 2007, 01:06 PM
"IIRC he used an AR15 to shoot the judge."

Let this be a lesson to all: Use enough gun!

June 14, 2007, 01:32 PM
a sniper shot Judge Chuck Weller through a window of his third-floor chambers

Was he a card carrying "sniper"?

Why is it whenever someone gets shot at a distance of more than 10 yds , they must have been shot by a "sniper" ? I shoot out to 800 yds accurately , so does that make me a sniper? Typical media bs .

June 14, 2007, 02:11 PM
I wonder if the judge's rulings have become "fairer" as a result. More than likely he had bullet proof glass installed in his 3rd floor windows.

Kali Endgame
June 14, 2007, 06:16 PM
I remember hearing about this and thinking, "What a psycho, those Nevadans have gone off the reservation". Then I moved to Nevada eight months later and love it. What a great place. Darn that stupid California mindset.

April 1, 2008, 09:56 AM
A recent article:


Jurors order Mack to pay

BY MARTHA BELLISLE • mbellisle@rgj.com • March 19, 2008

A Washoe District Court jury Tuesday awarded damages of more than $590 million to Darren and Charla Mack's 9-year-old daughter and the woman's estate, in the wrongful death lawsuit filed against the imprisoned murderer.

The jury retired at about

3:30 p.m. and reached the verdicts at 5:47 p.m. Punitive damages were put at $375 million, with other damages totaling $215 million.

Under the award in the wrongful death lawsuit, $30 million will go to Charla Mack's estate and the remainder will go to the couple's daughter, Erika, according to Hans Jessup, administrator for the Washoe County court.

"Let justice be heard throughout this community," lawyer Kent Robison urged the eight-juror panel in his closing argument. "Speak powerfully. Speak loud."

"You have to determine the value of Charla's pain and suffering," he said. "Try to imagine what was in her mind when the assault was initiated. What fear, what terror was there, knowing her daughter was upstairs, while Darren was doing the very thing that, for weeks, she feared."

When considering punitive damages, he told the panel, recall the brutal nature of the crime.

"There's a reason no one is at that defense table," Robison said, pointing out that Mack and his lawyers did not attend the trial. "His guilty plea was an admission that he planned to kill her. If Mr. Mack had any issue, he should have been here. I would have put him on the stand, and I think you would have been outraged."

"Let him tell you why this beautiful woman was butchered at his hands," Robison told the jury. "He knows his conduct was reprehensible."

Darren Mack has admitted stabbing Charla to death on June 12, 2006 in the garage of his townhouse. He has insisted that it was self defense, but pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on Nov. 5.

He has filed motions to withdraw his guilty pleas, and a hearing is set for April 15 to argue that point.

Judge Douglas Herndon had denied a previously filed motion to withdraw his pleas, and sentenced Mack, 46, to life in prison with parole possible after 36 years.

Mack was moved to Ely State Prison and waived his right to appear at the civil case.

In a motion filed March 4 with Judge Noel Manoukian, who is overseeing the civil lawsuit, Darren Mack said he has decided against defending himself in the case "because there is no money left, so any judgment is an empty judgment."

He also said he discharged his civil lawyer, Mark Wray, substituted himself in the case and asked the judge to not force Wray to attend the trial.

"There is no money," Mack wrote. "So, ordering Mr. Wray to appear is punitive to Mr. Wray because there is no money to pay him for his time."

Robison, representing the daughter, and Egan Walker, representing Charla Mack's estate, called a list of witnesses over the past two days who spoke of the brutality of her slaying, and the special relationship she had with her daughter.

Charla Mack's mother, Soorya Townley, and other witnesses told of the change in the daughter since Charla's death, and since her father was charged with murder.

Before her mother's death, their daughter "could be described as adorable, affectionate, a huggable, smiling child," Robison said. But after, the words include "abandoned, emotionally abused, betrayed, horrified, insecure, withdrawn."

He urged the jury to consider the loss of support she must endure with the killing of her mother.

"If you put a pen in my hand, this board would not be big enough for the number of zeros I would add," Robison said, referring to the damages form the jurors fill out.


Judge to hear lawyer's request to withdraw Mack's guilty plea again

By Jaclyn O'Malley • jomalley@rgj.com • March 5, 2008

A hearing has been scheduled for April in the Darren Mack case where his attorney again will contend that the legal counsel and representations made by Mack's previous lawyers violated his rights, and he should be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea.

Mack lawyer William J. Routsis wants District Judge Douglas W. Herndon to order a new trial. A hearing has been scheduled for

10 a.m. on April 15, where Herndon will hear arguments.

Herndon repeatedly has denied Mack's requests to withdraw his guilty plea, including a request Routsis made last month.

In his Feb. 27 motion, Routsis said Mack had agreed with former lawyers David Chesnoff and Scott Freeman that he would enter a "temporary insanity" defense in regards to the "struggle and death of Charla Mack and the result of illegal and unreasonable rulings of Judge (Chuck) Weller."

Instead, Routsis wrote, Chesnoff argued Mack was delusional and insane before his estranged wife's murder, which destroyed his self-defense claim.

Routsis wrote that Mack was induced to plead guilty because of ineffective counsel and consistent material misrepresentations.

Mack pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and entered a conditional plea on the attempted murder count in the middle of his trial last year.

Last month, Herndon sentenced Mack to the maximum penalties, resulting in a life sentence with parole eligibility after 36 years for fatally stabbing his estranged wife, Charla, to death on June 12, 2006, and then shooting their divorce judge, Weller.

April 1, 2008, 10:07 AM

The blown out window on the third floor of the Reno Justice Court on Sierra St. where a judge was shot in the chest Monday morning by a sniper, possibly shooting from the top of a parking structure located at First and Sierra Sts. in downtown Reno.
Tim Dunn/ Rgj


Keeping a watchful eye on their surroundings, swat team members make their way along Sierra Street toward First Street Monday June 12, 2006, looking for a sniper who shot Washoe County Judge Chuck Weller Monday morning.
Marilyn Newton/ Rgj




Interesting to see how all the police have their trigger fingers off the trigger and have their weapons pointed in a safe direction.

April 1, 2008, 10:33 AM
I shoot out to 800 yds accurately , so does that make me a sniper?

Damn. That's a good start.

April 1, 2008, 04:50 PM
I shoot out to 800 yds accurately , so does that make me a sniper?

If you're shooting at people, it does.


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