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Man Sentenced To 120 Days In Jail After Shooting His Brother At A Canyons Hotel

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32-year-old Christopher Leahy Head A Salt Lake City resident pled Guilty to shooting his brother at a Canyons hotel earlier this year was sentenced Monday to 120 days in jail.

At the hearing held in Third District Court, Judge Patrick Corum said that he didn’t think prison time was warranted for the defendant, but he felt Head should serve some additional jail time because he did shoot someone.

“Look, this is not for your own good,” Corum said. “It’s just for punishment, okay, pure and simple.”

The judge gave the defendant four months in the county jail, but gave him credit for 29 days he has already served.

Head was arrested in April. Officers reported that he, his older brother and their families were staying at the Westgate Hotel when an argument broke out between the siblings. The defendant fired a handgun, striking the older brother in the rear.

In court Monday, Head’s attorney, public defender David Shapiro, asked that his client should be given probation and the chance to continue substance-abuse counseling.

“Christopher’s in a good place now, and has made, since his time in jail, he spent about four weeks in jail, since that time he’s made some significant progress,” Shapiro explained. “And he’s back on a good track. And he’s recognized that he has some issues, some substance abuse issues he has to deal with, and he’s taking steps to do that.”

Sentencing had been delayed from last month because the older brother had stated, in the pre-sentence report from Adult Probation and Parole, that Head had shot someone else in a previous incident.

However, the judge agreed to strike that allegation from the report. Deputy County Prosecutor Blake Hills reported the older brother said he had not seen the alleged shooting. The supposed victim was in court Monday and said she was not shot. County investigator Christina Sally found no record of any such case. And Head’s mother, in a letter to the court, also denied the allegation.

Head made no comment to the court, except to say thanks for a chance at probation.

The defendant pled guilty to Discharge of a Firearm and Possession of a Firearm by a Restricted Person, both Third-Degree Felonies. Judge Corum gave him three to ten years in prison combined for those offenses but suspended the prison time.

The Judge said he had struggled to decide about the sentence.

“You pled Guilty to shooting somebody, and that’s not a, in my mind—I think there’s sufficient mitigating circumstances to warrant not a prison sentence,” Corum continued. “But I do feel strongly that additional jail time is warranted. I understand that that’s going to substantially negatively impact some of the progress you’ve made. But nonetheless I just, I feel it would be injust for somebody to do less than 30 days of jail, having shot somebody, not in self-defense.”

The defendant was given three years’ probation, a $1000 fine and directed to undergo a substance-abuse evaluation.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covers Summit County meetings and issues. KPCW snagged him from The Park Record in the '80s, and he's been on air and covering the entire county ever since. He produces the Week In Review podcast, as well a heads the Friday Film Review team.
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