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Schanze to face trial on misdemeanor charges

WEST JORDAN — Dell Buck Schanze, better known as "Super Dell" for the TV commercials he does for his computer business, will get a jury trial for two misdemeanor charges lodged against him.

Schanze, 36, is charged with a class A misdemeanor threatening or using a dangerous weapon in a fight and a class B misdemeanor of reckless driving. The charges stem from an incident in Draper in which some residents claimed Schanze was allegedly speeding through a neighborhood and displayed a gun after individuals confronted him.

Schanze has pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Third District Judge Royal Hansen on Monday scheduled a trial to run Feb. 15-17 and agreed with lawyers for both sides that a larger-than-usual jury pool might be needed because of the pretrial publicity surrounding the well-known Schanze.

Schanze often serves as a high-energy pitchman for his chain of computer stores on TV commercials.

A blue-jean-clad Schanze was in court Monday and later smiled at reporters assembled outside as he left the courtroom, but made no comment.

His attorney, James "Mitch" Vilos, said the matter should be tried in court and not in the press.

Schanze allegedly was speeding east along Draper's Steep Mountain Drive on May 21, according to court documents. Some men followed him to the hang-gliding park at Point of the Mountain to confront him about the alleged speeding and one picked up a rock and threatened to break the taillights of Schanze's car, court documents state.

Schanze allegedly pulled a handgun from his pants pocket and pointed it at one of the men.

Schanze, who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, has stated in the past that he intends to fight the charges and that his actions were in self-defense.

"They just want to throw me in jail for another crime I didn't commit," Schanze said in a June interview, referring to previous charges in which he said he was forced into plea bargains to avoid expensive litigation. "It's all malicious harassment of a law-abiding gun owner."