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Utah man who prompted marsh standoff sentenced to house arrest

Published May 8, 2013 4:42 pm

Courts • Judge rejects recommendation that man serve jail time.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A man accused of firing a gun at an ATV rider and prompting a standoff in the marshes near the Salt Lake City International Airport last summer was sentenced Tuesday to two months house arrest and a year of probation.

Brian Ray Skidmore, 51, of North Salt Lake, was found guilty in March of four criminal charges after a bench trial before 2nd District Judge Glen Dawson. In a bench trial, there is no jury; instead, a judge rules on the defendant's guilt.

Skidmore was convicted of third-degree felony failure to respond to an officer's signal to stop and misdemeanor counts of using a dangerous weapon in a fight, carrying a dangerous weapon under the influence and interfering with an arresting officer. For these charges, Skidmore could have spent up to five years in state prison.

But Tuesday, Dawson decided to spare Skidmore any incarceration.

In a deviation from the sentence recommended by prosecutors and an independent parole and probation board — 30 to 60 days in jail — the judge instead ordered Skidmore to spend 60 days under house arrest, during which time he will wear an ankle monitor to track his movements.

Skidmore was also ordered to pay a $600 fine and spend a year on court probation, during which he is not to violate any laws. Rather than reporting to a parole officer, Skidmore will return to court for hearings on his progress.

Defense attorney Scott Sanders said the judge's decision to spare his client jail or prison was justice for a man who made a mistake.

"The judge saw a very human situation here," Sanders said. "Sometimes the court will punish, sometimes it will show mercy. This time it applied mercy."

According to charging documents, officers checking on Skidmore's welfare discovered he was in the area of John Glenn Road (6070 West) in an unincorporated part of Davis County in the marshes adjacent to the Great Salt Lake.

When an airport police officer approached Skidmore, he drove off. Officers reported seeing a shotgun on the man's lap.

Moments later, police said, Skidmore fired a shot at a man working in the marshlands, who encountered Skidmore on his ATV. That man fled and called 911.

An hours-long stand-off with police ensued.

Skidmore fired more shots as the stand-off continued, but authorities have said it was not clear if he was shooting at them in particular.

The standoff ended when Skidmore shot himself in the neck. He survived after several days in the hospital in critical condition.

Skidmore will begin his house arrest sentence within a week, attorneys said. Skidmore's family declined to comment on the ordeal.

mlang@sltrib.com

Twitter: marissa_jae