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FRUITLAND MAN NOT GUILTY OF ASSAULT CHARGES

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An Eighth District Court jury in Duchesne has found Charles E. Stout, 40, Fruitland, not guilty on two third-degree felony counts of aggravated assault in the attempted shooting last summer of his former wife and her boyfriend.

The five-woman, three-man jury deliberated approximately seven hours before returning the verdict earlier this month.Stout voluntarily turned himself in to law enforcement authorities July 11. He was jailed and has been held on $75,000 bond since that time.

Stout, along with brothers Gregory Debloois, 36, and Todd Debloois, 34, of Ogden, were all charged in connection with the June 18 smoke-bombing and shooting at a cabin owned by Dale Anderson, Fruitland. The Debloois brothers also own a cabin in the Fruitland area.

Prosecutors said Stout and the Deblooises went to the residence either late on the evening of June 18 or early June 19 to attack Anderson and Stout's ex-wife, Sheree Ashworth. The trio was accused of throwing a military-type smoke bomb at the cabin door, firing shots at the cabin when Anderson and Ashworth appeared and then shooting the vehicle used by the couple to flee the scene.

The Debloois brothers are scheduled for trial in January. They each face two third-degree felony counts of aggravated assault, along with a gang enhancement charge. They are currently out on bond.

Defense attorney James A. McIntyre said he felt justice was served and questioned how the case ever made it to court given the lack of solid evidence against his client.

"Frankly it was a case that should never had been brought," McIntyre said. "The only evidence was that either he did it or didn't do it. The only thing I know is that my client was at his home when this thing happened."

Defense witnesses testified to Stout's whereabouts throughout the period in question, placing him at his home or business when the incident occurred.

McIntyre told jurors that Stout's ex-wife concocted the story implicating his client in the shooting in order to gain the upper hand in a custody battle the two are involved in over their two small children.

McIntyre said because his client was acquitted he will ask the court to order the county to pay defense costs associated with all witness fees. That could amount to around $5,000, he said.