A man accused of shooting at a Uintah County sheriff’s deputy in 2012 has pleaded guilty to reduced charges.
Dallas A. Rowley, 67, of Vernal, was originally charged in 8th District Court with one count of attempted murder, a first-degree felony, and failing to respond to an officer’s signal, a third-degree felony.
On Tuesday, Rowley pleaded guilty to a lesser second-degree felony count of attempted homicide and third-degree felony evading a police officer, according to Uintah County Attorney Mark Thomas.
Rowley faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 24.
According to police and a probable cause affidavit filed in court, Deputy Mike Lourenco was investigating a report of a suspicious vehicle near Red Wash Road and Highway 45 on the night of March 8, 2012, when he pulled over Rowley’s white Chevrolet Suburban
While talking to Rowley, the deputy smelled alcohol on Rowley’s breath and noticed a handgun within the man’s reach. When the deputy asked Rowley to step outside the car for a sobriety test, he instead drove off and Lourenco followed.
Lourenco later drove up behind Rowley’s vehicle and saw a rifle pointed at him from the driver’s window, court documents state. The deputy "laid over in his seat," as Rowley fired at least 10 times.
"Three bullet holes are in the windshield in a pattern that would have hit Deputy Lourenco in the chest, neck or head if he had remained in an upright, seated position," according to the affidavit.
Police searched for Rowley for two days before finding him near the White River in the southern part of Uintah County.
Thomas said no motive for shooting has ever been disclosed.
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