SALT LAKE CITY — A former South Jordan police officer who recorded himself on his own body camera talking about attempts to extort his ex-wife pleaded guilty Friday.
Jonathan Mangum, 31, of Eagle Mountain, pleaded guilty to one count of theft by extortion, reduced from a second-degree felony to a class A misdemeanor.
Mangum's plea will be held in abeyance while he completes 14 months of court ordered probation. If he has no new violations, the charge may be dismissed. But if he does not comply with the terms of his probation, he could face jail time.
According to plea documents, Mangum's probation may be shortened if he is able to secure a new job in law enforcement.
Mangum admitted in plea documents that he had "attempted to exercise control over property rights of his ex-wife by threatening to accuse her of a crime or expose her to hatred, ridicule or contempt during the course of a divorce."
Charges filed in November by the Utah Attorney General's Office allege that on Aug. 27, six days after his divorce became final and while employed with the South Jordan Police Department, Mangum responded to a domestic violence situation and told the suspect in that case about an incriminating picture he had of his own ex-wife.
Mangum told the suspect that he had used the picture "to force her to back off pursuing a share of his pension during divorce proceedings," the charges state.
"Jonathan Mangum also stated he threatened her by saying, 'I'll get (Utah Division of Child and Family Services) involved. I'll throw this up on Facebook. … I'll show it to your parents. I'll (expletive) ruin (you),'" charges indicate.
The conversation was discovered by South Jordan police officials reviewing body camera video in their office. At the time of the incident, Mangum had already given his two weeks' notice to pursue another job, but South Jordan police said the department felt it had a duty to report the findings.6 comments on this story
Mangum's ex-wife told investigators that while she had been considering several different factors, it was the "risk" that Mangum could use the picture against her that prompted her not to seek any of his pension in the divorce. The woman said she was "scared" and "embarrassed," charges state.
In text messages, Mangum threatened to use the picture at least three times, according to investigators, in addition to threats to take away her kids and withhold child support or insurance money.
The woman had filed for divorce from Mangum in April. A divorce decree was issued on Aug. 21 stating that Mangum "shall be awarded his pension in full, free and clear of any claim by petitioner," according to court documents.