Saturday, Sept. 20, 1997 | 5:22 a.m.
But Washoe District Judge Peter Breen on Friday ordered Lynda Lee Doane, 49, to pay $50 a month in restitution toward an illegal $9,000 jackpot hit in September 1994 at Fitzgeralds Casino-Hotel in Reno.
Breen gave Doane a suspended six-month jail sentence for her plea to a reduced charge of being a nuisance in a casino, a gross misdemeanor.
Doane was one of four people charged with taking part in a slot-cheating ring headed by Ronald Dale Harris, who awaits a hearing Tuesday on his guilty pleas to four counts of slot cheating.
Harris was indicted on charges of rigging slot machines and cheating at three northern Nevada casinos while employed as a technician with the GCB's electronic division.
Doane, a longtime Harris friend, was charged with collecting the illegal award at Fitzgeralds.
Doane insisted she didn't know she'd be hitting an illegal jackpot when she went to Fitzgeralds with Harris that night.
"We went there to goof around. We were just playing," she told Breen.
"Did you know there was something funny about that jackpot?" Breen asked.
"No sir, I didn't," she replied.
Doane entered an Alford plea to the charge, which means she admits prosecutors have enough evidence to convict but does not admit any guilt.
Also accused of participating in the slot-cheating ring were Harris' ex-wife, Victoria Elaine Berliner, and friend Reid Errol McNeal.
Harris, 41, faces similar charges in Las Vegas, and was charged in Atlantic City, N.J., in connection with a sophisticated scheme to cheat a hotel out of a $100,000 jackpot.