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Jailed S.L. County deputy sheriff to be fired

Salt Lake County sheriff's deputy John Stowe has been served notice that he will be fired from the sheriff's office. Stowe has been in jail since Jan. 11 after violating a protective order filed against him by his wife.

Midvale prosecutors have charged Stowe with one count of domestic assault, a class B misdemeanor, according to court documents.The charges stem from a Nov. 14 incident in which Darcy Stowe said her estranged husband verbally and physically abused her by shoving her, twisting her arm behind her back and shoving a necklace into her mouth. Darcy Stowe sought a protective order against her husband shortly after the incident.

John Stowe, 32, was arrested that night by Midvale police and then placed on administrative leave by the sheriff's office for 22 days.

Firing Stowe, a 10-year veteran of the department, was a tough decision, but Salt Lake City Sheriff Aaron Kennard said Friday he felt he had no other choice. An investigation of Stowe by the internal affairs division of the sheriff's office and a review of those findings by Stowe's supervisor and other sheriff's office captains took place prior to Kennard's decision to fire the deputy.

"It's really sad. I have agonized over this long and hard. But I felt he left me no other choice," Kennard said.

Stowe had been out of jail but was re-arrested Jan. 11 after allegedly going to his wife's home at 2:30 a.m. and letting the air out of the tires of her friend's vehicle. Darcy Stowe told police she saw her husband running away from her home that night. Stowe was in possession of a firearm and several other weapons when police stopped him. He remains in custody at the Salt Lake County Jail. Bail is set at $10,000.

The letter Stowe received Thursday from Kennard states that the sheriff intends to terminate the deputy but also gives Stowe an opportunity to be heard. A pre-termination hearing will be set for sometime in February, Kennard said. Following that hearing, Stowe can either be fired or given another chance with the sheriff's office.

"Due process is in place (and) as with anything at the sheriff's office, he has the right to appeal," Kennard said.

Kennard said he had not spoken with Stowe since his arrest, but said he was aware the deputy had had some personal problems. Stowe had been in counseling since 1991 or 1992, Kennard said.

"We were getting him as much help as we could," Kennard said. "It's a tragedy because he was a great cop and good kid. That's what's made it so tough. This young man has always accepted responsibility for whatever he's done."

Stowe is set to appear in court in April on the domestic assault charge.