This is a family tragedy, and frankly a town tragedy that ended as well as I think it could. —Assistant Utah attorney general Scott Reed
MOAB — A former Grand County sheriff's deputy apologized in court Tuesday for his violent response to finding his wife and his father — Moab's former fire chief — having sex in his home last month.
"I do apologize for my actions that night and I take full responsibility," Timothy John "TJ" Brewer told Judge Lyle Anderson before pleading guilty to assault and assault on a police officer, both class A misdemeanors.
Shortly after midnight on July 12, officers were called to Moab Regional Hospital because Brewer, who was shirtless and apparently intoxicated, was trying to get into the emergency room to kill his father, Wesley "Corky" Brewer, according to a police report.
"TJ then explained to me that he had caught his wife, Logan, having sex with his father, Corky, in one of his children's bedrooms upstairs in his own house," one officer wrote.
TJ and Logan Brewer had hosted Corky Brewer at their home for dinner on July 11. After the meal, the trio sat around having drinks until Logan Brewer said she was putting one of the couple's children to bed. "TJ realized awhile later that he was alone when the kid (his wife) put to bed came downstairs," the report states. "So he went up to check on where his wife was."
Brewer told investigators he discovered his father with his wife and "lost it." He beat his father, then retrieved a handgun, loaded it and pointed it at his wife's head, the report states.
Brewer also backhanded his wife, pistol-whipped his father, and later hit a Moab police officer who was trying to keep him from returning to the hospital, according to the report.
"It's kind of a classic law school scenario where, if you walk in on a situation that's very upsetting, are you justified in taking that action," defense attorney Tara Isaacson told the Deseret News after Brewer pleaded guilty.
"We had to analyze it both legally and factually and then make a decision about how to move forward," Isaacson said. "This is definitely more than just a criminal case, so it's been difficult I think, for my client to work his way through it."
Corky Brewer, who resigned last week after 24 years as Moab's fire chief, went home immediately after the assault and stabbed himself with a kitchen knife, investigators said. The knife punctured his lung and nicked his liver, making it necessary to fly him to a hospital in Grand Junction, Colo., for treatment.
"This is a family tragedy, and frankly a town tragedy that ended as well as I think it could," assistant Utah attorney general Scott Reed said after court.
Reed said TJ Brewer was initially jailed for investigation of attempted murder, aggravated assault, and several other offenses out of a desire to protect the public, the deputy's family and the deputy himself.
But after a "thorough investigation" by the Utah County Sheriff's Office, "what we found was that the charges were not as serious as suspected," Reed said.
"What Mr. Brewer was charged with is what he actually did and that's what he admitted to today," the prosecutor added.
Brewer, who was assigned to the narcotics unit at the time of the incident, asked to be sentenced immediately after entering his pleas.
He was given credit for the three days he spent in jail after his arrest, ordered to serve 24 months on probation and given a fine of less than $800. Brewer was also ordered to complete substance abuse and anger management assessments, and complete any recommended treatment.
At the request of both the prosecution and the defense, the judge also lifted a no contact order that had barred Brewer from having contact with his wife or father.
Whether the 12-year law enforcement veteran will keep his certification as a peace officer remains to be seen, his attorney said.
"There may be ways for him to try to salvage that," Isaacson said, noting that Peace Officer Standards and Training has not begun its formal investigation yet.
"But from the beginning TJ's idea was: Let's get in, let's take responsibility, let's try to move forward, and then we'll deal with the career issue later," she said.