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7 February 2020, West Valley City, Utah – a man was shot dead, a woman shot multiple times – at a home with 5- and 10-year-old children in it. The shooter? The woman’s ex-husband who police and courts allowed to plea bargain out of serious charges.
Deseret News reports that forty-year-old Jeremy Harris had killed his ex-wife’s boyfriend in this shooting, which took place a week before Harris was due in court again. He had a string of offences and court appearances: but the state did not adequately protect his wife. Harris killed himself shortly after the shootings.
In exchange for his October guilty plea to trespassing, a class A misdemeanor, prosecutors agreed to drop remaining counts of assault and domestic violence in the presence of a child, court records show.
Harris admitted he “committed an act that created a substantial risk of bodily injury to another by use of unlawful force or fear,” court records say. Judge William Kendall sentenced him to a year of probation and no contact with the victim, as well as 25 hours of community service and any recommended treatment following a domestic violence evaluation.
The woman had a secured a protective order against her ex-husband in October, court records show. It’s the same month he pleaded guilty in a different case in West Jordan’s 3rd District Court.
According to Giffords, Utah law does not:
- Require courts to notify domestic abusers when they become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or
- Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.
Please contact Utah Attorney General Sean D Reyes through one of the channels below and give them the following message, personalized to your liking:
Jeremy Harris was known to the Utah Department of Justice. He was allowed to plea bargain his way out of counts of assault and domestic violence in the presence of a child. Harris admitted he “committed an act that created a substantial risk of bodily injury to another by use of unlawful force or fear,” so he was allowed to plead guilty to trespass, and go on to kill his ex-wife’s boyfriend, shoot her multiple times, and then he killed himself. Two children now have to live with this. You have a perfect storm of allowing domestic abusers to go free, and you let them keep guns – even if they have been banned under Federal law from gun ownership. Tell me that you are not largely responsible for this wholly avoidable tragedy.
The question is, who is going to die next until you get your gun laws and your domestic abuse laws in working order? What are you doing today to stop the next domestic abuser with a gun from killing? I demand an answer and action.
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