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Suspect in W.V. police shooting bound over

Jason Evans told friends he'd rather shoot a cop than go to prison. He then drove to Provo to get a semi-automatic rifle in the days before he allegedly shot West Valley Police detective Robert Idle during a routine traffic stop in August.

After a preliminary hearing Wednesday, Evans, 20, was bound over to 3rd District Court on three counts of attempted aggravated murder, first-degree felonies, and one count of fleeing from police.During the hearing, co-defendant Alepino Lavaka, 20, testified that Evans jumped out of his car the night of Aug. 15, armed with the borrowed Chinese-made SKS rifle, and fired again and again at Idle.

He tried to shoot another police officer pursuing them, Lavaka testified, but found, as he leaned out the window while Lavaka steered the car from the passenger side, that the 20-round clip on the rifle was empty.

Idle was hit four times, in the stomach, face, left hand, and thigh during the shooting and is still recovering from his wounds.

Natasha Atwood, 16, who dated Evans before the shooting, testified that Evans told her that "if a cop ever ever tried to take him, he'd go out like a G (gangster)."

Atwood was in the back seat of the car Evans was driving that night and also told of the wild ride that ensued as police pursued Evans at speeds of up to 85 mph through West Valley. She laid down in the back seat and kept her eyes closed during the pursuit that ended at 5600 West around 2400 South when Evans' car became disabled after jumping a curb at high speed.

Lavaka admitted that during the chase he threw the rifle out the car window. He later led detectives back to the area and aided in recovering the weapon.

He also testified that at one point Evans ordered him to reload the rifle but that they had no spare ammunition. Evans handed him the rifle and told him to shoot at the pursuing police, Lavaka said, telling him, "Here, Pino - if you don't shoot him, we're not going to make it."

Lavaka, who is charged with one count of evidence tampering, waived his preliminary hearing Wednesday and has agreed to testify against Evans, whom he said he's known for five or six years. In return, prosecutors will advise his sentencing judge that he cooperated in the investigation and trial.

Evans is also accused of shooting at two other West Valley police officers, Kory Newbold and Chad Evans, during the 10:45 p.m. traffic stop at 3500 South and 4800 West.

Idle's parents, Kenneth Idle and Sheron Prettyman, sat through Wednesday's daylong hearing and said they were shaken by the testimony.

"I'm angry and upset. It stirred me and leaves me with kind of an empty feeling, hearing how cold (Evans) he was," said Kenneth Idle. "There was no regard for other people at all."

"I have a problem understanding him (Evans) trying to take a life," Prettyman said. "I don't understand why he would feel a human life, including his own, is not important."

Kenneth Idle said his son wants to return to the streets as a police officer when he recovers and he supports that decision. Prettyman concurred. "There's no question he'll be back. That's what he lives for," she said.