Utah man gets prison for driving stolen car into garage, killing 3 dogs
A 29-year-old Midvale man who fled from police and killed three dogs when he crashed a stolen car into a garage was sentenced Monday to prison.
George Anthony Basta, 29, pleaded no contest to charges of second-degree felony theft, third-degree felony counts of aggravated assault and failure to stop at the command of law enforcement in a plea deal with prosecutors in which the court dismissed seven additional charges, including aggravated cruelty to animals.
Third District Judge Robin Reese sentenced Basta to serve no less than a year and up to 20 years in the Utah State Prison. An independent parole board will determine how much time Basta spends behind bars.
According to court documents, Basta stole a 2006 Chevy Impala from a car lot at 4724 S. Commerce Drive (310 West) on Jan. 31, 2012.
Two days later, an officer with the Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division tracked the stolen car to 300 South and 200 East. The officer saw Basta climb into the car as two patrol cars pulled up behind him, the documents state.
Basta backed into one patrol car and drove forward over a snowbank, pushing the other car out of the way and into a tree, according to the documents.
Minutes later, a Utah Highway Patrol trooper said he saw the Impala speed past him before the car crashed into a garage at 1450 W. California Ave (1280 South), continued through another home's fence and killed three dogs.
When Basta was arrested, police allegedly found several checks, financial and identification cards and copies of Utah state identification and social security cards belonging to other people who said they had never met nor given Basta permission to make copies of their information.
Charging documents allege Basta caused more than $2,000 in damage to a man's property, but the judge did not immediately issue an amount for restitution Monday. The court has 90 days to determine how much Basta will have to pay back.