PANCHO VILOS’ CLIENT FOUND NOT GUILTY of Attempted Assault with a Deadly Weapon!
Here was the Provo Herald’s write up of the facts which gave rise to the case I defended in trial last week (and hence, no presence here on Facebook for over a week!)
“A road rage confrontation escalated to a potentially deadly situation Friday after a man fired a shot in an Orem parking lot, according to reports.
Arrest reports state that at about 4:30 p.m. Friday police received the initial 911 call. The complainant stated that as he drove near 1100 S. Main St. another driver cut him off. The complainant honked his horn, but the other driver slammed on his brakes, causing the complainant to nearly hit him, reports state.
The complainant told police that as he passed the driver, he yelled at him and flipped him off. The complainant decided to flip around and followed the other driver to the Scera Pool parking lot.
Reports state he observed the other driver holding a gun out of his window, pointed at him. But when the other driver pulled the trigger, the gun was not pointed in his direction and he (complainant) was unharmed.”
That was the Orem Police and Media’s version of the case. Don’t have time tonight to give all the details, but after two days of testimony and several solid days of trial preparation, the Jury found the defendant NOT GUILTY of attempted assault with a deadly weapon by reason of self-defense and defense of others (two of his pre-teen children who were in the car when the complainant yelled and flipped off the defendant). THEME: It is reasonable for a parent to resolve all doubts in favor of his children’s safety when confronted by an angry, seemingly out-of-control motorist under the influence of road rage and point a gun because “action always beats reaction” (reference to likelihood of being killed by road rager in a car or a weapon you haven’t seen yet, that could be pulled on you in a fraction of a second and not being able to react in time unless defendant’s gun is pointed at the road-rager).
The police and prosecutors thought they had this one in the bag because the defendant, when he couldn’t get the complainant road-rager to shut up and leave him and his young girls alone, fired the gun in the air near State Street in Orem. The State of Utah’s premiere expert witness and the very experienced arresting officer testified it was not justifiable under the circumstances of this case for my client to point the gun at the complainant and fire the gun in the air. But justice prevailed anyway because of the compelling arguments above as well as relentless cross exam of the alleged victim, the arresting officer and the State’s expert witness, not to mention dramatic testimony from the defendant and zealous argument by defense counsel (Panch, himself).
WORD OF CAUTION: The Defendant’s tactics in this case were quite unusual and generally not taught by CCW instructors in this and many other states. Be prepared to be arrested, charged and prosecuted and pay an enormous attorney’s fee for a vigorous defense if your tactics don’t fall in line what the arresting agency is teaching its officers. Note: Referring attorney and co-counsel was Chris Dexter of Dexter and Dexter in Orem, Utah, whose assistance was much appreciated and contributed immensely to the success of this case.