It will be at least three months before Levi Scott Jones knows his fate.
Instead of sentencing him on a second-degree felony auto theft conviction, 3rd District Judge David S. Young ordered a 90-day diagnostic evaluation of Jones.During that time Judge Young will also decide whether to recuse himself from the case. Young was asked to do so by defense attorney Lynn Donaldson, who represented Jones at trial.
After a jury found Jones and co-defendant Ruben J. Alba guilty of auto theft, Jones got upset and tried to run from the court room. He was tackled by a bailiff and the man whose car was stolen. Jones now faces assault charges stemming from that incident, and Young could be called as a witness.
Donaldson wrote in his motion asking for Young's recusal that "the appearance of bias requires recusal of the court."
The situation was exacerbated when five days after Jones tried to run from Young's court room, the Salt Lake County Jail released him because of crowding.
The move angered Young, who issued $100,000 arrest warrants for both Jones and Alba. Both men were re-arrested a few days later.
Now represented by attorney Ron Yengich, Jones appeared for sentencing Monday morning before Young. Yengich said he and prosecutors had agreed that more detailed information about Jones' medical history would be valuable before deciding whether Jones should go to prison.
Alba has already been sentenced to home confinement.
"There's a history of physical damage to the head and brain of Mr. Jones," Yengich said. He said Jones also had a history of problems "controlling his temper."
"He indicates he doesn't always understand why he does things," Yengich said.
Young said a letter from Jones' mother offered him valuable insight into the man, and agreed to the diagnostic evaluation in hopes that it might give whoever sentences Jones more information to work with.
He called Jones a "classic case" for a diagnostic evaluation. He also told Jones he wouldn't send him to prison just because he was mad at him.
"I haven't decided whether to withdraw from the case . . . but whatever happens to you in punishment, you need to put behind you what brought you there," he said. "Draw a line in your sand and go from there."