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West Valley man gets probation for 2008 shootout with police

Published October 2, 2012 4:21 pm

Court • Defendant was "out of it" after taking a combination of prescription drugs, according to testimony.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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 West Valley City man who shot at police who were responding to a domestic disturbance at his home has been sentenced to probation.

Randy Fetch Jeffs, 52, fired four .40-caliber rounds at officers who were called to his home, near 6500 West and 3820 South, in May 2008.

According to court documents, Jeffs and his wife had been fighting, and when officers arrived, Jeffs yelled at them and opened fire. Officers returned fire, striking Jeffs in the ear and the arm.

Jeffs was originally charged with four counts of attempted criminal homicide, a first-degree felony. Jeffs pleaded guilty to reduced counts of second-degree felony attempted murder.

Third District Judge William Barrett sentenced Jeffs late last month to 200 hours of community service and 18 months probation.

Jeff's attorney, David Drake, said the man had been taking Zoloft and other prescription drugs on the day of the shooting, unaware of their side effects, and began experiencing suicidal ideations.

"They're terrible drugs, especially in combination," Drake said. A doctor who testified during an earlier hearing told a judge that Jeffs "wouldn't be able to form an intent to kill anybody because he was too out of it."

Jeffs also spent roughly three years in the Salt Lake County jail awaiting trial and a ruling on an pre-trial appeal of a legal issue.

afalk@sltrib.com