PROVO — A former West Jordan police officer and ex-Marine has pleaded guilty to domestic violence charges and was admitted to a specialty treatment program for veterans.
The prosecutor behind the deal said the resolution will prevent James Michael Harvie, 30, from ever wearing a uniform again while getting him help for "well documented" post-traumatic stress disorder.
Harvie pleaded guilty June 12 to aggravated assault, a second-degree felony, as he was admitted into Veteran's Court in Provo. Through the court-based treatment program, Harvie was given an ankle monitor after nearly three months in jail.
"That is a conviction that will never allow him to be a police officer again, never allow him to have a gun again," said prosecutor Doug Finch. "Veterans Court will keep him under pretty tight reigns while he's doing all of his treatment. It's an extensive treatment program. He's supervised by a probation officer and everything, too, so it makes him safe in the community, as best we can, but addresses his underlying (issues)."
Additional charges of domestic violence in the presence of a child and assault, class B misdemeanors, were dismissed as part of the plea deal.
Allegations against Harvie were made by two women who had dated him, though charges were filed in connection with only one of them, according to court documents. Harvie said the woman connected to the charges in the case was supportive of the plea deal.
"This victim was very strong, mature, intelligent," Finch said. "She was consulted many times with us as we went through to kind of give her the big picture. For the most part, in each of our talks, she was very supportive on most everything that we were trying to do."
Finch said "a lot of information" from multiple people had come in about Harvie, but after reviewing it all, prosecutors declined to file any additional criminal charges.
The two women had described Harvie as a former Marine with an explosive temper who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and as a person who has numerous guns that were always loaded, according to a police affidavit filed in 4th District Court.
Harvie reportedly served several deployments to Iraq while with the U.S. Marines. He became a police officer in 2013.
The woman connected to the charges told police she and Harvie had been arguing for several hours when Harvie pointed an AR-15 rifle at her, a weapon she knew to constantly be loaded.
The woman had confronted Harvie about cheating on her. Harvie ordered the woman to get in his truck with him to go and "confront third persons that the couple were discussing in the argument," according to the charges.
The woman initially refused, prompting Harvie to allegedly yell more demands and threats at her.
"She was terrified that (Harvie) would shoot (her) while a 6-year-old child was playing just outside the room. (She) continued to refuse (his) instructions due to fear of being killed while leaving the home," the charges state.
The next day, when the couple argued again, the woman told police Harvie motioned violently as if to slap her, then shoved her and elbowed her, charges state.
"(She) expressed to James she was scared because the prior night, she thought he was going to kill her in the front room. She said her daughter was going to walk in from the front yard and see it. The victim also said she thought James was going to kill the both of them and her daughter was going to have to walk in and find them," according to court documents.3 comments on this story
A sentencing hearing for Harvie is scheduled for July 10 before 4th District Judge Samuel McVey. Finch confirmed McVey is not bound to accept the plea deal or to allow Harvie to proceed with the Veterans Court program rather than being sentenced to prison.
At the time of his arrest, Harvie was an officer with the West Jordan Police Department. He was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation but resigned from his job on March 31.
Free and confidential help and support for victims and survivors of domestic violence is available 24/7 at 1-800-897-LINK (5465) or visiting udvc.org.