More than two weeks after his five-day run from the law ended in an arrest in Spanish Fork, Justin Gary Llewelyn has been charged with two counts of attempted aggravated murder for allegedly shooting at a police officer and shooting a resident in Riverton.
Llewelyn, 33, was also charged Friday in 3rd District Court with first-degree felony counts of aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary, third-degree felony criminal mischief and misdemeanor failure to stop at the command of an officer.
On Friday, 3rd District Judge Todd Shaughnessy ordered bail set at $1 million, cash-only.
Llewelyn is accused of shooting at a Unified Police Department officer Jan. 20 after a UPD sergeant caught him prowling around cars in a Riverton apartment complex. Llewelyn ran, and as a second officer pulled into the parking lot, Llewelyn shot at that officer, police said. The officer was not hit, though a bullet hole was later found in his car.
Police followed Llewelyn’s footprints in the snow, leading to a nearby home. They heard glass shatter and then two gunshot wounds. Llewelyn allegedly broke into a home and went into the garage to steal a car. An occupant of the home, Steven Smith, came into the garage after hearing noise.
Llewelyn had a gun and demended Smith’s keys. Smith handed over the keys to a Nissan Murano. He then fired off two shots. Smith was hit in the chest and police found a bullet hole in the garage door and a slug in a fish tank.
While leaving the residence, Llewelyn allegedly crashed the Nissan into Smith’s truck, causing $5,000 worth of damage. The stolen Nissan was found crashed later that day near Blackridge Reservoir, according to a probable cause statement.
Reports surfaced that Llewelyn was willing to shoot at police before going back to jail.
A shelter-in-place warning was issued as police combed through the Riverton and Herriman area, continually downsizing the area where they thought Llewelyn was hiding out. But they were unable to locate him.
Police said the event frightened residents, who holed up in their homes fearing the allegedly dangerous man could break in at any time.
A manhunt ensued, bringing in help from at least six different agencies including the U.S. Marshals Service. After a $4,500 reward for information leading to Llewelyn’s capture was issued, police said they were inundated with reports, many of which did not pan out.
Three women related to Llewelyn were arrested for refusing to comply with police in their search for the man, who has a violent criminal history.
Llewelyn’s aunt, Keria Jessica Hartley-Johnson, 35, was arrested for helping him evade police. She was charged with second-degree-felony obstruction of justice and third-degree-felony retaliation against a witness, victim or informant.
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said Hartley-Johnson’s charges are related to her role in transporting Llewelyn to Utah County, where he was eventually arrested.
Llwelyn’s sister, Misty Nichole Case Llewelyn, 25, and his mother, Tasha Rae Llewelyn, 50, were each charged with a single count of second-degree felony obstruction of justice.
Police interviewed Tasha Rae Llewelyn on Jan. 20 following the shooting. She told police she hadn’t contacted her son, and that he would not reach out to family while in trouble.
Shortly after she changed her story to tell police that Justin Llewelyn texted her asking for help and that he got in her vehicle that day but jumped out quickly and ran off. She didn’t know where he was, Tasha Rae Llewelyn told police.
However, a search warrant for the woman’s phone revealed text messages indicating she not only knew where her son was, but was orchestrating hideout locations for him.
Misty Llewelyn also told police on Jan. 20 that she didn’t know where Justin Llewelyn was. Later that day she told police she had lied to them, according to a probable cause statement.
An acquaintance told police that he and members of Justin Llewelyn’s family helped move Llewelyn to a hotel in Springville. Llewelyn told him that a cop had shot at him, that he broke into a home and shot a man and stole a car, Warner told police.
Llewelyn was caught four days later after police saw him leaving a park in Provo. The chase went through Provo, pulling Provo police and the Utah County Sheriff’s Office into the chase.
Police chased him south to Spanish Fork, and arrested him after a Utah County Sheriff’s Office deputy clipped the stolen truck Llewelyn was driving, crashing it into a parked tow truck.
Following the accident, Llewelyn was arrested without further incident.
Llewelyn was transported to an area hospital with minor injuries from the crash, as was Deputy Justin Mortensen. While it was originally reported that the deputy broke his arm, Utah County Lt. Erik Knutzen said the man suffered only scratches and bruises.
“He had already shot at police, he shot a civilian, so it was just time to stop this, stop the chase right there,” Mortensen, told The Salt Lake Tribune.