A Layton youth pleaded not guilty in 2nd District Court Tuesday to attempted murder in the Aug. 8 shotgun attack on a Utah Highway Patrol officer.
Michael K. Polete, 17, 610 E. 20th North, is scheduled for trial Nov. 30 on a first-degree attempted murder charge. A co-defendant and neighbor, Jared Valentine, 18, 631 E. 20th North, is scheduled for arraignment on the same charge Oct. 18.They are charged with firing several shotgun blasts into a UHP trooper's car that was pursuing them, with its lights and siren on, in a chase through Layton about 1:30 a.m. Aug. 8.
Three or four shotgun blasts hit Trooper John Mitchell's car in the radiator and windshield, disabling it. Mitchell, 28, suffered minor injuries from flying glass and debris.
Polete and Valentine were arrested a week after the incident outside Elko, Nev., and returned to Utah.
Valentine waived his circuit court preliminary hearing and was bound over to district court. Polete's attorney, Stand Smedley, filed a motion to block Polete's Layton 2nd Circuit Court preliminary hearing in September, arguing his client is a juvenile and charges should be heard in juvenile court instead.
But Judge K. Roger Bean ruled that because Polete will turn 18 shortly and because of the seriousness of the crime, he should be tried as an adult.
The attempted first-degree murder charge is a first-degree felony, carrying a prison term of five years to life, because the attack was carried out on a law enforcement officer on duty.
Polete remains in the Davis County Jail and Valentine is free on $25,000 bond.