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Utah man who exchanged gunfire with cops sent to prison

Published February 7, 2014 2:00 pm

Courts • Jamon Val Cranney was sentenced to three years to life in prison.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Washington City man who exchanged gunfire with police in July was sentenced to prison Friday.

Jamon Val Cranney, 37, was originally charged in 5th District Court with two counts of attempted aggravated murder; possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person; theft by receiving a stolen weapon; and two counts of failure to stop at the command of an officer after the July 20 traffic stop and car chase.

On Friday, Cranney pleaded guilty to one count of attempted aggravated murder in the form of an Alford plea — indicating that he maintained his innocence but acknowledged prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him of the charge. The remaining charges were dismissed as part of a plea deal.

Cranney was sentenced to at least three years and up to life in prison on Friday.

Cranney was hospitalized after the July 20 incident near the intersection of 3650 South and KD-Jo Lane. Police allege that Cranney fired out the window of his car at pursuing officers' vehicles after he fled from a routine traffic stop.

An officer initially pulled over Cranney's maroon Mitsubishi after he failed to yield to a pedestrian walking a bike through a crosswalk near 300 E. Telegraph St., according to police.

Cranney did not have a license to show the officer, but instead had a Social Security card, according to court documents. When the officer went to his patrol car to conduct a records check, Cranney allegedly drove away. The officer pursued Cranney's vehicle but eventually called the chase off.

The officer later found out that Cranney had a warrant for his arrest and had a suspended driver license. Later that day, the officer saw Cranney's vehicle again, court documents state, and he attempted to pull him over with assistance from a Washington County sheriff's deputy.

But police say Cranney sped away until he reached the end of 3650 South where the asphalt ends and a dirt road continues.

At that point, police say, Cranney turned his vehicle around and drove back toward the two officers. He turned his car perpendicular to the police cars and began shooting toward the officers, according to police.

The officers retrieved AR-15 rifles and exited their cars, police say, while Cranney circled around and returned to a stop directly in front of the officers' vehicles. He stepped from the car and fired multiple shots at the officers, police say.

The two officers returned fire, hitting Cranney and his car. Cranney got back into his car, police say, and attempted to reverse but eventually stopped. It took officers about 10 minutes to coax Cranney to throw his gun out of the window and leave his car.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller