Man gets 5 years' prison for stalking

A 58-year-old Gardnerville man with a history of domestic battery was sentenced Monday to five years in prison for aggravated stalking.

Harry Smallwood, a former Merchant Marine captain who listed his most recent occupation as cab driver, must serve two years before he is eligible for parole.

District Judge Michael Gibbons sentenced Smallwood to prison, despite a request from the victim and others who wrote letters on his behalf that he be placed on probation.

"Hopefully, you will never kill somebody, but I am afraid that could happen," Gibbons said.

Smallwood pleaded no contest to the charge.

The victim claimed Smallwood terrorized her and her 7-year-old son by cutting the telephone lines May 11 so she couldn't call for help and breaking a window to gain entry to her James Road home in the Gardnerville Ranchos.

He was arrested after a neighbor heard the victim yell for help and called deputies.

"I regret our relationship had come to that point," Smallwood said. "I love that woman very much. I am sorry. I accept responsibility with all my heart.

"I am not the boorish, woman-beating drunk as the district attorney would like to paint me. I think I deserve another chance."

A power company employee alerted deputies when he saw a man, identified as Smallwood, spray-painting "thief" and "drug addict" in black paint on the victim's garage.

Smallwood also was accused of leaving obscenity-laden threats for the woman.

"This is considered very serious by the court," Gibbons said. "I am surprised by the recommendations from the department of probation and the victim.

"I have to balance what is the risk of repeat behavior," he said. "You've made some dramatic steps since you've been incarcerated, but it's an educated guess what's likely to happen in the future. Your behavior caused pretty dramatic harm."

Gibbons also ordered Smallwood to pay $4,389 restitution to the victim for items he stole or destroyed.

He is to be sentenced today in East Fork Justice Court on a charge of driving under the influence, a misdemeanor.

"Without fail, everyone says he's a great guy," said his lawyer, Charles Zumpft. "He's the guy you want to live across the street, the guy you want next to you in church, if he's sober. Mr. Smallwood is a mean drunk."

Sheila Gardner can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 214.


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