Judge sentences man who hit 3 police cars to jail for drug treatment and probation

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A Utah man who crashed into several police cruisers was ordered on Friday to undergo drug treatment, but was warned he would be sent to prison if he violated his probation. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

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SALT LAKE CITY — A man who crashed into several police cars while trying to flee from police has not been sent to jail, after a judge ordered him to attend the corrections program instead drug treatment in prison and then being released to a drug treatment center. program where he will begin two years of probation.

Alexander Chance Ommundson was fleeing from police in Millcreek on January 30 and ran into a police officer and three police cars. The police chase began after the car, which was being driven by Ommundson’s girlfriend, was pulled over for a taillight violation and Ommundson took control of the vehicle, leading to the robbery charge and a kidnapping charge that was dismissed as part of the plea deal. . Ommundson at the time had a warrant for his arrest.

Ommundson, 33, pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery, second-degree felony, plus assault on a peace officer and failure to stop at police command, third-degree felonies.

The 3rd District judge did not make his decision immediately and instead decided to schedule a new hearing and take the time to consider whether to send Ommundson to jail or give him a suspended prison sentence and the possibility to receive drug treatment in prison and while on probation. .

In the first part of the Aug. 26 sentencing hearing, Salt Lake County Assistant District Attorney Heather Lindsay asked the court to impose the jail sentence, citing that Ommundson nearly knocked down an officer trying to leave the situation.

“This is a situation where … the officer involved was in imminent fear for his life,” Lindsay said.

She said the officer was unsure if he could step aside and had been suffering from trauma since the incident. Lindsay said Ommundson put himself in a situation where people could have died.

Although Lindsay said officers were using every tactic possible to keep the public safe by blocking Ommundson with cars, Ommundson’s attorney Erin Wilson said police created the situation that led his client to collide with cars by placing their vehicles directly in its path. in a way that didn’t give Ommundson a chance to react, forcing him to crash into the cars.

Wilson claimed the case was not really an aggravated robbery – even though his client had pleaded guilty to that charge – but was about fleeing the police. He said Ommundson would have the best chance of success being placed in an inpatient drug treatment program available at the prison.

Ommundson simply said that he trusts the judge’s decision and that he is currently eight months sober, and that his time in prison has helped him get there.

“I’m sorry for the things I did that put the public and myself at risk,” Ommundson said.

The judge noted that he was extremely concerned that the lives of the officers were in danger and asked Ommundson what would be different about his actions now if he did not go to jail, noting several previous probation violations . Ommundson said he would love the chance and said the eight months were the longest in over 15 years.

“I feel good,” Ommundson said.

After taking two weeks to review the case, Judge Barry Lawrence said he would suspend the prison sentence if Ommundson completed the treatment he had ordered inside and outside of prison. Ommundson will be in prison for an additional 180 days for the drug program, in addition to the time he has already served in prison.

Lawrence warned Ommundson that if it didn’t work, he would likely go to jail if he violated the terms of that sentence and probation, saying it was the best chance he had to turn his life around.

“We’re kind of on the phone here, and I think it’s going to be very difficult for you and your lawyer to convince me not to send you to jail, so I urge you to do whatever you can and take this seriously,” the judge said.

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Emily Ashcraft joined KSL.com as a reporter in 2021. She covers court and legal affairs, as well as health, faith and religion news.

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