Habitual offender arrested in alleged attempted kidnapping

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  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 29, 2014 12:43 p.m.

    Re: "He has nearly 150 case entries since 2003. In 2014, he has been charged in seven cases with alcohol or trespassing related offenses."

    Well, at least now we know why he drinks so much.

    Thankfully, his most recent offense carries a 10 or 15-to-life sentence. Here's hoping Sim Gill has the guts to go for the conviction, and the parole board has the sense to make it a long, long, long time before he's released.

  • caleb in new york Glen Cove, NY
    July 27, 2014 4:02 p.m.

    holy cow talk about emotional overreaction here. the article said his 150 offenses were mostly for public intoxication. If we do a three strikes and you're out law for 3 public intoxication offenses, we are going to be paying 80% income taxes to the government so we can pay to house all of those in prison. yes petty crime can be a sign that worse crime is going to come and I do not classify attempted kidnapping as petty crime. I think attempted kidnapping is sufficient grounds to lock someone up for a long time. I guess if you folks want to pay 80% income tax so we can get every petty criminal off the street, then I won't be able to afford where you live.

  • Mormonmama0106 Phoenix, AZ
    July 26, 2014 6:02 p.m.

    "To expensive to house them? What's your child's life worth?"

    Well said! I shudder to think how this would have turned out for that little girl if someone who knew her hadn't noticed what was going on. He has now proven he's a threat. Time to lock him up for good! Send him here to Arizona. I'm happy to help pay for his incarceration with my tax dollars if that's what it takes to protect the next child!

  • brotherJonathan SLC, UT
    July 26, 2014 3:16 p.m.

    permanent tracking (chip or bracelet and his whereabouts will protect us from future crimes.)
    Maybe not all, but most predators do not want to get caught..

    Tracking by software there every movement, on such behaviors once convicted ...
    Is the best way to deter future crimes..And still protect their rights and ours..
    They don't want to get caught.. Some one goes missing track all who are in the area under
    gps watchful eyes.......Those who aren't totally insane. will choose to not get caught.
    Just think about.....looking both ways to see if someone is watching..Will not help them escape justice..................We need to be smarter than the criminals....this is how...Ask UAG Sean Reyes if this strategy would help defend us?

  • Applelovernow Henderson, NV
    July 26, 2014 10:16 a.m.

    No not odd at all. Just finished reading Elizabeth Smart's book, My Story. He fits the profile of a preditory pediphile perfectly and the child was most likely terrified! This family was very fortunate

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 26, 2014 10:00 a.m.

    Who's to blame --
    The bad little boy,
    or the parent who says "no" but nothing and let's him keep right on doing it? [bad parent]

    This guy had nearly 150 case entries since 2003.

    When will Utah catch up with the rest of America and pass a "3 strikes" law?

  • caf Bountiful, UT
    July 26, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    It almost sounds like he was trying to find a way to get back into the prison system. Odd for him to continue encouraging the girl to keep walking when he was confronted. Odd that he didn't run when the police were involved.

  • LittleStream Carson City, NV
    July 26, 2014 8:23 a.m.

    It seems obvious to me that this man's crimes are accelerating. Leave him out long enough and he will destroy children's lives or kill them. Why does the justice system turn a blind eye to this kind of crime. Three strikes you are out laws work fine if they are specific to the kinds of crimes ( ie violent, involving children, involving a gun, etc) We need to protect the children.

  • Martin Handcart Descendant Azusa, CA
    July 26, 2014 7:39 a.m.

    This guy needs to be removed from society before he finally succeeds and a family friend is not there to rescue a young girl. I don't understand the mentality of lawyers, lawmakers, and the like who continue working hard to defend and pass laws that keep evil guys like this one on the streets in society. He is not fit, nor capable, to live in a society of law abiding people.

  • Aggie5 Kuna, ID
    July 26, 2014 7:30 a.m.

    To expensive to house them? What's your child's life worth?

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    July 26, 2014 6:41 a.m.

    This little girl's family is REALLY lucky!

  • Blue AZ Cougar Chandler, AZ
    July 26, 2014 1:30 a.m.


  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 25, 2014 11:40 p.m.

    If he is just a career criminal, then let's get these charges prosecuted and lock him up.

    If he is mentally ill, then perhaps that requires a different process to get him committed and locked up somewhere else.

    Bottom line is, having career criminals wandering around and attempting to kidnap six year old girls is not what is done in a civilized and safe society. If other cities (San Francisco, Chicago, New York like people like this, I will be happy to buy him a one way bus ticket to any of those places.

    Let's get Chief Burbank on this one to make the city safer. This is in addition to two people being stabbed in Liberty Park yesterday. Really does not make me want to go downtown anymore.

  • roberto Moses Lake, WA
    July 25, 2014 9:33 p.m.

    150 cases since '03? The courts should have pulled the plug on his freedom at 10. Society dodged a bullet this time. sounds like a candidate for a long long sentence!

  • caleb in new york Glen Cove, NY
    July 25, 2014 7:54 p.m.

    because housing people in prison is extremely expensive. Although I don't love dangerous people being out amongst us, in many places its too expensive to keep minor criminals continually locked up because evil is spreading and there are so many of them. Unfortunately our laws do not let us lock someone up because we think they might do something really bad. Justice requires some crime to actually have occurred.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2014 5:19 p.m.

    "Merkley is a habitual offender in the city, mainly committing misdemeanor offenses such as public intoxication and disorderly conduct, according to Utah state court records. He has nearly 150 case entries since 2003.

    In 2014, he has been charged in seven cases with alcohol or trespassing related offenses. Some of those were ultimately dismissed."

    Well, let's hope this attempted kidnapping of a child will help someone in the "justice" system wake up to the idea of actually imprisoning someone who has obviously been trying hard, for along time, to be imprisoned.

  • Misterjrh Atlanta, GA
    July 25, 2014 4:49 p.m.

    Why don't more states have a three-strikes law? I would be seriously surprised if this individual doesn't ruin at least a few lives before he's finally put away forever. Given his offender status it appears that he's most likely been living off the government in some way or another... we may as well just oblige this man with a life sentence to save on court costs of repeated re-incarceration, not to mention the emotional cost to the victims for potential loss of liberty and life.