A Provo-area man who attempted to remove a police officer’s weapon during a Sept. 9 scuffle admitted last month that he was guilty of two of the main charges against him.
Seventh District Judge Lyle R. Anderson imposed but then suspended a sentence of up to five years in state prison, after Jacey Charles Harker pleaded guilty on Tuesday, Nov. 28, to third-degree felony disarming a peace officer and class B misdemeanor interference with an arresting officer.
Harker, who turned 35 on Thursday, Dec. 14, was “very intoxicated” when he got into a drunken scuffle with Moab City Police officers, Grand County Public Defender Don Torgerson told the judge.
As police attempted to place him in the back of a patrol vehicle, Harker resisted. Police then forced him to the ground outside the vehicle, and one of the officers felt “three distinct tugs” as Harker attempted to remove his firearm from a holster, which held the gun securely in place, according to court documents.
In exchange for Harker’s pleas, the Grand County Attorney’s Office agreed to dismiss with prejudice additional charges of “failure to disclose identity,” intoxication and disorderly conduct.
Grand County Attorney Andrew Fitzgerald told the court that Harker has a prior criminal history in Utah County, including a record of some minor – and some more serious – offenses.
Reports on the Sept. 9 incident omitted language that could have led to a more serious first-degree felony charge against Harker, Fitzgerald said, so he felt the plea agreement was a fair resolution.
In addition to the suspended prison sentence, Judge Anderson also imposed but suspended a six-month jail sentence for the interference conviction, and placed Harker on probation for 36 months. He also ordered Harker to serve 90 days in the Grand County Jail, with credit for time served, and to perform 100 hours of community service.