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Judge delays sentencing for ex-deputy in assault

SHARE Judge delays sentencing for ex-deputy in assault

A former deputy who pleaded guilty in January to assaulting a prisoner in a drug bust will go another six months under court supervision without being formally sentenced.

Tim Langley, 37, was also given permission Friday by a 3rd District judge to sell, but not possess, firearms.Langley pleaded guilty in January to aggravated assault, a third-degree felony, for pulling his service weapon and pointing it at a suspect's head during a January 1997 drug bust. The suspect, an illegal immigrant, was later released and fled back to Mexico.

Langley and his attorney, Greg Skordas, wanted to enter a plea in abeyance, which would have put him on court-supervised probation without a formal sentencing.

But Judge Leslie A. Lewis declined, saying she wanted a pre-sentence investigation done on Langley and wanted the option of sending him to jail if she deemed it necessary.

Lewis was also disturbed at what she saw as Langley's refusal to fully admit his responsibility in the incident.

Skordas Friday presented the judge with two letters from physicians indicating Langley is being successfully treated for post-traumatic stress syndrome and that allowing him to sell firearms in a gun shop will not present a risk to him or the public.

Langley was involved in a fatal shootout in July 1996 when, as a member of the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office SWAT team, he was confronted by a drug suspect who popped up from behind a barricade in the basement of his home, armed with a shotgun.

Langley was fired from the sheriff's office after the second incident in January.

Lewis agreed to allow Langley to pursue his new career working in a gun store and also ordered him to continue his medical treatment. While he can handle guns and show them to customers, Lewis ordered Langley not to demonstrate how they are fired or held.

"Do not think for one moment I'm not watching you like a hawk," Lewis warned Langley.

Langley said later he does not discount the possibility of returning to law enforcement in some capacity in the future.

"Time will tell," he said, adding he believes his experience would make him a better officer with more empathy for people, something he's learned police officers lack, he said. "Most police officers are cynical," he said.