I-15 standoff’s Jason Alley makes first court appearance

Utah Fifth District Courthouse, St. George, Utah, date and time unknown | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The suspect involved in the eight-hour standoff on I-15 with law enforcement on Monday made his first appearance in court Tuesday. Jason Kenneth Alley*, 37, appeared in the courtroom of Judge James Shumate via a video feed from Purgatory Correctional Facility at 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 7.

In his First Appearance, Alley was read the charges that derived from the standoff on I-15 between him and law enforcement on Jan. 6. (See recap of incident below.**)

Jason Kenneth Alley booking photo | Purgatory Correctional Facility

The charges Alley faces are: one count of failure to respond to an officer’s signal to stop – a third degree felony; two counts of reckless endangerment –  a class A misdemeanor; one count of turning or changing lanes, one count of legibility of license plate from 100 feet, and one count of failure to stop – the latter three being class C misdemeanors. Alley also faces an infraction for failing to wear a seatbelt.

The third degree felony carries a penalty of zero to five years in prison, and a $9,500 fine. The class A misdemeanors carry a penalty of up to one year in prison and a $2,500 fine.***

Charges filed are predicated on the Probable Cause Statement supplied by the arresting authorties.  Washington County Attorney Brock Belnap said, of the intial filings in this case, “it is a fog of war situation, all of the evidence and reports have not come in yet.”

He said that futher charges may be subsequently brought if the evidence supports them.

As Alley was unable to provide a lawyer for himself – he told the court he had been out of work since August 2011 – Judge Shumate assigned Doug Terry to act as Alley’s public defense. Deputy County Attorney Brian Filter will be overseeing the prosecution for the Washington County Attorney’s Office.

Alley’s next court appearance will be Feb. 13 at 2:30 p.m.

*   Persons arrested and charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or other determinor of fact.

**  The standoff started around 12:30 p.m., after Alley had been pursued by a La Verkin police officer for a traffic violation. The incident shut down a section of I-15 near Hurricane for over nine hours. Two of Alley’s sons, a 6 or 7-year-old boy and teenage boy – were in the car during the incident. Alley gave himself up and was taken into police custody around 8:30 p.m. that night. (See previous story here.)

*** A classification of criminal offences and their associated penalties can be found at the Utah State Court website.

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Twitter: @morikessler

Copyright 2012 St. George News. This material may not be published or rewritten without written consent.

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