SALT LAKE CITY — A man charged in connection with a self-defense shooting when three men attempted to rob him has pleaded guilty to a lesser offense.
Daniel Christopher Simon, 26, pleaded guilty last week to attempted possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, reduced from a second-degree felony to a class A misdemeanor. He was given credit the same day for time previously served in jail and the case was closed.
Simon did not face any charges for shooting 30-year-old Jesse Ray Rakes, but because of a prior felony conviction, he was prohibited from having a gun, according to prosecutors.
Rakes died as a result of his injuries.
According to police, on Aug. 28, 2016, Rakes approached Simon and his girlfriend near 550 W. 300 South and asked for help jump-starting his car.
Simon moved his vehicle into position to hook jumper cables to Rakes' vehicle, and two men — Michael Sean Polk, 35, and Matthew Gordon Eyre, 36 — got out of the car.
That's when Rakes told Simon "that this is a robbery, displayed a gun and demanded all of their property," according to court documents.
Eyre later told police that Rakes "liked Simon's car and wanted to take it," the charges state.
Simon walked to the passenger side of his car where his girlfriend handed him a gun, according to charging documents. Rakes then pulled out his own gun and Simon shot him in the hip, police said.
Simon got back in his car and attempted to drive away, but Polk allegedly rammed Simon's car, causing Polk's car to flip. Simon and his girlfriend then drove around the corner and waited for police to arrive.
After Polk's car crashed, between 15 and 30 people who were standing near the Rio Grande Depot rushed to the vehicle. But rather than offer help, the majority of the people looted items, including Rakes' wallet, according to police.
Polk, a documented member of the Soldiers of Aryan Culture gang, and Eyre, a documented member of the Silent Aryan Warriors gang, were charged with aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony.Comment on this story
Eyre was found guilty by a jury last month, but his attorneys are now petitioning for a mistrial claiming video of a police interview with Eyre was wrongly given to the jury to watch during deliberations. Prosecutors are opposing the motion, arguing that defense attorneys agreed that all exhibits, including the recorded interview, could be presented to the jury.
Sentencing for Eyre is set for Dec. 8.
Polk pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony, in a deal with prosecutors. He was sentenced up to five years in prison for each charge, with the terms running concurrent to each other but consecutive to any other sentences.