Murder suspect Troy Driver’s case sent to state court for mental evaluation proceedings

Naomi Irion and suspect Troy Edward Driver
Naomi Irion and suspect Troy Edward Driver(Lyon County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 1:15 PM PDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2022 at 5:12 PM PDT
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FERNLEY, Nev. (KOLO) - AUG. 10 UPDATE: The case of a man accused of kidnapping an 18-year-old from outside a Fernley Walmart will be sent to state court for a judge to conduct a competency evaluation.

Justice of the Peace Lori Matheus signed the order Aug. 5 sending the case of Troy Driver to state court in Yerington.

A district court judge will evaluate if there is a basis for the mental health evaluation sought by Driver’s legal team and then appoint a qualified person to do the evaluation and report back to the court.

District Attorney Stephen Rye did not oppose sending the case to state court, noting in court documents that is the proper place for a judge to decide if there should be a competency evaluation.

Rye wrote that law enforcement could not see any diminished capacity for Driver, accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering Naomi Irion, but acknowledged defense attorneys could have insight that law enforcement does not have.

Rye opposed a defense effort to suspend the criminal case in justice court until the competency evaluation is made.

JULY 28 UPDATE: Troy Driver’s legal team has filed two new motions in Fernley Justice Court. The first, requests a competency evaluation for Driver. In the motion, the defense states that it believes Mr. Driver may not be able to aid and assist in his defense with a reasonable degree of understanding. The defense also requested that all proceedings be suspended until a determination regarding Driver’s competency can be made.

Driver’s legal team also requested that its motion to dismiss charges, which was filed on June 29, be amended to include the new sexual assault charge. The new count was filed in an amended criminal complaint on July 20. The defense argues that a portion of the crimes occurred in Churchill County, so that’s where those charges should be prosecuted. They are also asking that the briefing schedule for the case be updated so that the defense can amend its original motion to dismiss. If that happens, it could affect when the Preliminary Hearing occurs. It is currently scheduled for September 13, 2022.

JULY 27 UPDATE: The man accused of killing 18-year-old Naomi Irion in March has waived his right to be arraigned on new charges.

Troy Driver was expected to have new charges, including sexual assault, presented to him in Fernley Justice Court. In a motion filed on July 27, 2022, Driver waived that hearing.

A preliminary hearing is set for September 13, 2022 in Fernley Justice Court.

JULY 20 UPDATE: The man accused of killing Naomi Irion is now charged with sexually assaulting her.

The Lyon County District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday filed amended charges against Troy Driver in justice court in Fernley that now include sexual assault and being an ex-felon in possession of a gun.

That is in addition to charges of murder, robbery and kidnapping filed earlier.

Irion disappeared from a Fernley parking lot on March 12 and was found in northern Churchill County on March 25.

Driver’s lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the murder charge on June 29, saying evidence clearly shows Irion was murdered in Churchill County so any murder charge should be prosecuted there.

Lyon County District Attorney Stephen Rye’s opposition to efforts to dismiss Driver’s murder charge was filed Wednesday in justice court in Fernley.

Rye said Nevada law says that when a crime is committed in two or more counties and the crime is a continuation of the same activity, it can be tried in any of the involved counties.

“The kidnapping, robbery and burglary started in Lyon County and continued into Churchill County, thus being “committed in part in one county and in part in another,” Rye wrote. The sexual assault started in Lyon County and continued into Churchill County, the prosecutor said. Rye wrote the murder was part of a kidnapping that started in one county and went into another.

Driver’s preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 13 in Fernley.

JULY 5 UPDATE: The preliminary hearing for the man accused of kidnapping and murdering Naomi Irion has been set for September 13, 2022.

Troy Driver appeared virtually in a Fernley courtroom Tuesday for a status hearing. The prosecution has not replied to the defense’s motion to dismiss the murder charge, but told the court its reply would be filed Wednesday.

The preliminary hearing is expected to last three days, where Judge Lori Matheus will determine if there is enough evidence to hold Driver for trial.

JULY 1 UPDATE: The attorneys for Troy Edward Driver have asked his murder charge against Naomi Irion be dismissed because she was killed in Churchill County and not Lyon County.

Driver has faced court proceedings so far in Canal Township Justice Court, which includes Fernley. Driver, 42, has pre-trial proceedings scheduled for Tuesday.

Driver’s lawyers, Mario R. Walther, Moria E. Desmarais, and Richard P Davies, filed a motion June 29 to have the murder charge dismissed.

The evidence shows Irion had an active wound when she was placed in the dirt and the evidence indicates her body was not moved, the motion said.

Authorities found her body near Coal Canyon Road in northern Churchill County.

The motion said there is no evidence showing a plot to murder Irion when she was kidnapped in Fernley. The proper venue for a murder charge would be in Churchill County, the motion said.

MAY 10 UPDATE: The man suspected of kidnapping and murdering Naomi Irion appeared in a Fernley courtroom via Zoom Tuesday for a status hearing.

The case against Troy Driver has been continued to July 5 at 1:30 p.m. Driver’s attorney Richard Davies said he is waiting on more evidence from the prosecution to help in his client’s defense.

Both sides agreed to continue the hearing.

Driver is suspected of kidnapping Naomi Irion on March 12, 2022 from the Walmart parking lot as she was waiting in her car to catch a shuttle to work.

Irion was later found shot to death in a remote area of Churchill County.

APRIL 8 UPDATE: Troy Driver is being held in the Yerington jail with no bail for charges related to the kidnapping and murder of Naomi Irion.

He appeared via Zoom at a hearing Friday, April 8 at the Canal Township Justice Court.

Court documents filed Friday morning show Richard Davies has been appointed as lead counsel for Driver with Mario Walther serving as co-counsel.

According to an amended criminal complaint, Driver shot and killed 18-year-old Irion before burying her body in the desert.

APRIL 6 UPDATE: Troy Driver’s bail hearing on charges he kidnapped and murdered Naomi Irion has been moved from Wednesday to Friday, according to a stipulation filed Wednesday.

The stipulation was signed by Lyon County Chief Deputy District Attorney Brian C. Haslem and Driver defense lawyers Richard P. Davies of Reno and Mario R. Walther of Dayton.

APRIL 5 UPDATE: An amended criminal complaint filed Tuesday charges the suspect in Naomi Irion’s kidnapping and killing with First Degree Murder and alleges he killed her by shooting her before burying her body in the desert.

The complaint also alleges Troy Driver buried her body between March 12 and March 25 in an attempt to conceal the murder. According to the Churchill County Sheriff’s Office, Irion died from gunshot wounds to the head and chest.

Driver is also accused of destroying Irion’s cell phone and also allegedly disposed of the tires on his truck in an effort to cover up the crime.

According to the complaint, the crime started March 12 at 1550 E. Newlands Drive, the Walmart in Fernley where Irion was abducted.

Driver is also charged with robbery and burglary, accused of driving off in Irion’s car with her inside on March 12.

According to the complaint, all of the alleged crimes happened at various locations in Lyon, Churchill, Pershing, Humboldt and Eureka counties.


Driver was expected to face a judge in court on Tuesday, April 5. According to two stipulations filed on April 4 in Canal Township Justice Court, the pretrial hearing will now happen May 10, 2022. A preliminary hearing set for April 12 will also now happen May 10 as a status hearing.

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