Meadow Valley Justice Court judge Mike Cowley has bound over to the 7th Judicial District Court the matter of the Nevada Department of Public Safety state vs. Ken Higbee of Alamo. The trial date, to be set by the district court, is yet to be determined.
Higbee, the suspended principal at C. O Bastian High School at the Caliente Youth Center, and Pahranagat Valley High football coach, was charged in April by documents filed in Meadow Valley Justice Court by the Nevada Department of Public Safety with a 225-count criminal complaint citing he stole about $122,000 from the Lincoln County School District, involving dozens of counts of forgery and misconduct, plus one felony theft charge. The documents allege, “The embezzled funds were used to purchase a variety of items, including, but not limited to, sports equipment, sporting good items, sports clothing and shoes, tools, welding equipment, household items, electronics, and various other items, including some that were for personal use.”
A preliminary hearing was held at the Lincoln County Courthouse in Pioche before Judge Cowley May 30 to June 2 with District Attorney Daniel Hooge presenting the evidence that had been collected in the that lasted over a year by the state’s attorney general’s office.
However, at the conclusion of the prosecution’s case, defense attorney Brett Whipple informed the court he was not going to present his case at this time and would wait until Judge Cowley reviewed the evidence and ruled if there was enough to proceed to trial.
Whipple had said earlier though, he did expect the case would go to trial. “Preliminary hearings are 99 percent of the time bound over to district court, because of probable cause in slight or marginal evidence.”
Whipple also said he plans to file a Writ of Mandamus in two or three weeks. “We feel the foundation of the prosecution’s case was “not properly laid in this case, and we’ll be challenging the bind over on some foundational issues.”
District Attorney Daniel Hooge was not available for comment on Monday.