Defense attorney Paul Gotay will serve 24 months of probation for pointing a gun at a pair of LDS missionaries during a confrontation with a former renter in February.
Third District Judge William Barrett sentenced Gotay Thursday to concurrent 90-day and 30-day jail terms, but the judge suspended the jail sentences in lieu of probation, 100 hours of community service and a $500 fine.Gotay, 47, pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated assault, a class A misdemeanor, and simple assault, a class B misdemeanor, last month.
Barrett gave Gotay credit for his "integrity" in confessing to the crime and willingness to receive anger management therapy.
"This is one of those cases, it just hurts my heart," Barrett told Gotay. "But you have acknowledged that you lost it, that you acted in a way you shouldn't have and it appears that you are doing something about it."
During the hearing, Elder Conrad Prusse, a full-time LDS missionary, told Barrett that on Feb. 3, he and seven other missionaries were in street clothes performing a service project by helping Gregory Singer move his belongings out of Gotay's building, 357 E. 200 South.
Defense attorney Jim Haskins contends Gotay had previously evicted Singer from the building and Singer was not supposed to be on the property.
While helping Singer, Gotay showed up screaming at them to get out, Prusse said. Later, Gotay approached the missionaries again with a gun.
"He pushed me and pointed a gun at me," Prusse said. "I was somewhat afraid, I must say."
According to a police report, Gotay also pointed the gun at another missionary coming into the building.
Gotay apologized for his actions, but claims the missionaries were aiding his former tenant take property that did not belong to him.
"I stooped to the level of the perpetrators," Gotay said. "I forgive you all because I was not the catalyst that started all this. . . . At least, I have come to court and acknowledged what I did."
Haskins, who has an office in the building and witnessed part of the incident, said Gotay asked Singer and the missionaries to leave the property, but they refused. "Their conduct was less than exemplary," he said.
Gotay later went to get a gun because he believed Singer was going to get a gun and Gotay wanted to protect his tenants, Haskins said.
Gotay said he is not an anti-Mormon and does not have an agenda against LDS missionaries. In fact, Gotay has helped and encouraged Haskins' son to fulfill an LDS mission, Haskins said.
The father of two, Gotay "is the most exemplary father I've ever seen," Haskins said.
"In my mind it doesn't matter if these were Mormon missionaries or just hoodlums walking on the street," Barrett said.
The judge also admonished the victims to reflect on "whatever happened that day" and to "not allow that to happen again, if in fact what you represent is accurate."