SALT LAKE CITY — A Kearns man who allegedly planned to assassinate the governor was charged Friday.
Brian Biff Baker, 52, was conducting surveillance of the Governor's Mansion, 602 E. South Temple, on Feb. 2 and sent numerous texts to a friend saying he was lying in the bushes and intended to kill Gov. Gary Herbert, according to charges filed in the 3rd District Court.
A transcript of the text messages in the court documents read: "Been caseing the place they going to (expletive removed) when the explosions start lol should be funny ... its a dangerous mission. This cop drives by one more time im takeing him out."
Herbert was in the mansion at the time and was transported to a safe place for his protection.
A Utah Department of Public Safety investigator viewed surveillance video of the area around the mansion and observed Baker surveying the property. The investigator then arranged for the friend to meet Baker at a gas station located at 900 E. South Temple, and he was then taken into custody, the charges state.
Baker's truck was located at 840 E. South Temple and law enforcement found containers of ammunition, a large knife, M088 Salute explosives, several cardboard boxes of illegal firecrackers, a pipe and two bags containing methamphetamine inside, the charges state.
According to the charges, Baker had previously been convicted of a crime of violence and was classified as a "restricted person."
Baker was charged with one count of possession or use of a controlled substance, a second-degree felony; one count of purchase, transfer, possession or use of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a third-degree felony; and one count of threatening elected officials, a class B misdemeanor.