A Carbon County sheriff’s captain charged with damaging three vehicles at a South Salt Lake auto repair business by "keying" them, resolved the case Monday with a plea in abeyance.
Guy Adams was charged in 3rd District Court with two class A misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief causing intentional damage to property and one class B misdemeanor count of criminal mischief causing intentional damage to property.
On Monday, Adams, 49, pleaded no contest to a single class A misdemeanor count.
The plea will be held in abeyance for 12 months, and the case will then be dismissed, so long as Adams violates no additional laws.
Judge Katherine Bernards-Goodman ordered Adams to pay $1,012.89 in restitution. Court records show the money was paid to the court Monday morning.
Carbon County Sheriff James Cordova has said that Adams resigned from his job last week.
But defense attorney Loni DeLand said Monday that his client retired prior to charges being filed in February. DeLand also said Adams continues to deny he damaged the vehicles.
On Jan. 6, Adam’s patrol vehicle was being worked on at the repair business. While Adams and Cordova waited, Adams went to the back parking lot for a smoke break, according to police reports.
The next day, damage was discovered on three vehicles parked in the north lot, charging documents state.
A 2012 GMC Sierra belonging to Dave Smith Motors had multiple scratches to the driver’s side door and hood, causing $938 in damage. A 2012 Ford Fusion belonging to the Syracuse Police Department had multiple scratches on the driver’s side door frames, causing $74 in damage.
A 2006 Ford Expedition belonging to the U.S. Forest Service also had multiple scratches on the driver’s side door, causing $586 in damage, according to charges. DeLand said restitution was not required for the Forest Service vehicle because it was slated to be scrapped.
A South Salt Lake police detective who reviewed surveillance video of the parking lot observed Adams walking and standing in the same location where each of the vehicles was damaged, according to charges. Adams is seen on the video touching the hood of the GMC and making an up and down motion in the spot where the hood had been damaged, police said.
But DeLand called the video "totally inconclusive." Adams is seen pausing by a vehicle and "seems to touch" it, "but he looks at a bunch of vehicles," DeLand noted.
DeLand said that despite the questionable evidence against Adams, he decided not to fight the case because "he knew what the charges would do to his career."
The shop owner told police that Adams contacted him twice, asking to pay for the damages and to also say that if the charges were not dropped, he would lose his job.
Cordova confronted Adams in early January about the incident, according to charging documents, and asked if Adams scratched the vehicles. Adams allegedly said that he didn’t think he did but that he didn’t remember.
When Cordova told Adams there was video surveillance of the incident, Adams replied, "I’d have to see the video. I don’t think I did."
While Cordova was on the phone with the shop owner, Adams allegedly said twice that he would "pay the damages to make the charges go away," according to charging documents.
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