A West Valley City man will spend at least four years in prison for culminating a road rage incident by firing a gun multiple times at another driver in front of a backdrop of West Jordan town homes.
Joseph Granados, 35, was found guilty of attempted murder, fleeing from police, illegal possession of a firearm and criminal mischief following an October trial in 3rd District Court.
Granados has a lengthy criminal history, and his docket entry contains aliases such as “J Psycho” and “Cyko.”
The incident began shortly after 4 p.m. on June 6, 2016, when Granados, driving a maroon sedan, pulled up next to a silver sedan traveling south on Grizzly Way. Granados looked “threateningly” at the driver before showing him a gun, West Jordan police Lt. Rich Bell said at the time, noting that police do not know what Granados’ motivation was.
The driver of the silver sedan sped off, and Granados chased after him, police say. At about 7900 South, Granados forced the silver car off the road while his sedan spun in the opposite direction. Bell said Granados then fired several rounds at the driver, hitting him once in the neck.
The driver of the silver car, a West Jordan man, survived the shooting.
Granados, though, fled the scene and was later tracked down by West Valley City police, who attempted a traffic stop but were unsuccessful. Police later chased Granados into Kearns, Bell said, taking him into custody after he abandoned his car and tried to flee on foot near 4800 West 4800 South.
During a Friday sentencing hearing, Judge Paul Parker saw it as a prison case, Cooley said.
“It was an entirely unprovoked attack,” Salt Lake County Deputy District Attorney Brad Cooley later told The Tribune.
Cooley said Parker noted during sentencing that there were audible gasps from the jury when shown video of the police chase following the shooting.
Ten counts of felony discharge of a firearm were merged into the attempted murder charge after Parker ruled that the elements needed to convict Granados of the crimes were included in the attempted murder charge.
Cooley said the state opposed the motion and viewed the firing of the gun as a separate criminal act, but putting forth the best argument for the attempted murder charge hindered the ability to present the best case on the discharge of a firearm counts.
“It was a bit of a catch-22,” he said.
The judge ordered consecutive prison terms on the attempted murder, fleeing from police, illegal possession of a firearm and criminal mischief counts — for sentence of four years to life, Cooley said.
While this case is wrapped up, Garanados is potentially facing more prison time. He has four pending criminal cases including felony charges of hit and run, rioting and failure to stop at the command of police.