FARMINGTON — Second District Judge Jon Memmott ordered that a former police officer get a diagnostic evaluation at the prison before the man is sentenced on charges of aggravated assault and child abuse.

John Spencer is a former Centerville police officer who resigned from the department after the May 26 incident. He has lost his credentials to be a law enforcement official.

As part of a plea bargain, he previously pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and child abuse, both third-degree felonies, in connection with an altercation involving his wife and 5-year-old daughter. Layton police investigated the case after the woman and child turned up at a Salt Lake City hospital with bruises and cuts.

Charges of domestic violence in the presence of a child and interrupting a communications device were dropped as part of the plea deal.

Spencer, 43, was scheduled to be sentenced Monday, but the judge said information provided to the court from counselors was "very cursory" and did not provide insight into whether this situation involved a one-time offense or whether Spencer has a "deeper problem with long-term consequences."

"A lot of things appear to the court to be missing," Memmott said.

Several relatives of both Spencer and his wife showed up at Monday's hearing, but prosecutor William McGuire told the judge he would explain to family members more fully why the delay occurred and that they will have an opportunity to address the court when Spencer is actually sentenced.

Defense attorney Gregory Skordas asked the judge if Spencer, who is out on $75,000 bail, could check into the diagnostic unit on April 4, and Memmott agreed.

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