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Riverton man acquitted of road-rage assault charge

Published September 24, 2012 2:37 pm

Court • Defense attorney says alleged victim's credibility, evidentiary problems led to not guilty verdict.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Riverton man has been found not guilty of threatening a woman with a handgun on Interstate 15 in February.

Kyle Kirk Bake, 35, was acquitted of the felony aggravated assault charge after a trial last week in 3rd District Court.

According to court documents, Bake was tailgating a woman near 600 North when he pulled alongside, pointed a gun at her and appeared to yell, "I'm going to shoot you."

But in other interviews with police and later at trial, the woman backed off her claim, defense attorney Lindsay Jarvis said.

"She said in subsequent interviews, 'I think he said, 'Pull over. Pull over,'" Jarvis said Monday. "For an aggravated assault, that's obviously a big difference."

In February, the woman was able to give police a description of the car, which had a laptop with a silver sticker near the dashboard and a pair of plastic handcuffs hanging from the mirror, and a license plate number.

When detectives met with Bake, he said he would disprove the woman's story by showing them his gun, the charges state. His black and silver Smith & Wesson matched the woman's description and officers noticed a laptop on a makeshift stand in Bake's car, according to court documents.

Jurors also told attorneys they based their acquittal on problems with the investigation.

A Highway Patrol trooper spotted Bake's car on the day of the reported incident, but police did not search the vehicle for a week, Jarvis said.

"There was a six-day delay without recovering any evidence," she said.

Bake said he was driving on I-15 that day and at one point told the woman to slow down, but never threatened her, according to his attorney.

"The reality was she saw some cops stuff, or thought she did, and she embellished it into something so much more," Jarvis said.

afalk@sltrib.com

Twitter: @aaronfalk