The man accused of kidnapping and murdering 18-year-old Naomi Irion will stay behind bars as the criminal case against him proceeds.
On Friday, a judge ruled that 41-year-old Troy Driver must remain in jail without the opportunity for bail.
The decision came the same day that Driver was formally charged with numerous crimes, including first-degree murder with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, robbery, burglary of a motor vehicle and destruction of evidence, KOLO-TV reports.
Authorities allege that Driver approached Irion’s car at 5:24 a.m. on March 12 in the parking lot of a Walmart in Fernley, Nevada, where she was waiting to take a shuttle to her job at Panasonic Energy of North America. Security camera footage shows a man in a gray hooded sweatshirt, dark pants and dark shoes approaching the vehicle.
Driver was able to enter the vehicle and proceeded to kidnap Irion. Following the kidnapping, police say Driver fatally shot Irion and buried her body in a remote grave in an effort to hide his crimes. He also allegedly destroyed or hid her cellphone and got rid of the tires that were on his truck, according to the television station, which obtained a copy of the criminal complaint.
Speaking to journalists outside the courthouse on Friday, Driver’s court-appointed lawyer, Richard P. Davies, said there are more questions than answers about his client’s involvement in Irion’s kidnapping and murder.
“And we’re very confident as the investigation goes along, the true story will come out,” Davies told reporters, according to CNN. “Right now everybody’s jumping to conclusions, and that’s natural. But I want to urge everybody to just be patient and let the process work itself through.”
Should the case go to trial, Davies indicated that he may try to hold the trial in another county given the high-profile nature of the case, Fox News reports.
Irion’s loved ones also attended the hearing. Her brother, Casey Valley, said he was glad that Driver will remain in the government’s custody for the time being.
It is “a relief to know that someone under this type of suspicion cannot harm someone else right now,” Valley told journalists, according to CNN.
The family is having a difficult time grappling with Irion’s death, but Valley said they will do what is necessary “to make sure that Naomi gets justice,” according to CNN.
“Every day it seems a little more real and that’s hard,” Valley said, according to CNN. “It’s hard to bring this all down to reality.”
Driver did not offer a plea during Friday’s proceedings. He is expected to next appear in court on May 10 for a pretrial hearing.
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[Feature Photo: Naomi Irion]