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Sanpete County man who was shot by Utah trooper sent to prison

Published April 25, 2014 1:09 pm

Courts • UHP trooper fired when Searle drove toward him.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated.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 Sanpete County man who was shot by police after a confrontation last September was sent to prison for crimes related to the shooting.

David Searle, 44, was originally charged in Manti's 6th District Court with three second-degree felony counts of theft, third-degree felony aggravated assault, and two third-degree felony counts of possession of a firearm by a restricted person.

He was shot by a Utah Highway Patrol trooper on Sept. 25 during an investigation of a stolen truck, according to court documents.

In February, Searle took a plea deal and pleaded guilty to third-degree felony joyriding, one count of third-degree felony theft and one count of second-degree felony use of a firearm by restricted person. He also pleaded no contest to a charge of third-degree felony assault of a police officer.

On Wednesday, a judge sentenced the man to three zero-to-five-year prison terms for the third-degree felonies, and one-to-15 years in prison for the use of a firearm. The judge ordered the sentences to run concurrently, and also ordered that Searle obtain a mental-health and substance-abuse evaluation and receive any recommended treatment.

A 2001 pickup was reported stolen earlier that September day, according to police, and the owner had informed police that a pistol and rifle were inside the truck.

At about 7 a.m. that day, police found the vehicle, with Searle inside, about 2 miles from Spring City. UHP and Ephraim police surrounded the vehicle, but when they went to apprehend the man, he began driving toward a UHP trooper.

The trooper fired two rounds at the truck, and fragmented pieces of one round hit Searle in the arm, according to police.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller