Man sentenced to probation for lighting firecrackers that sounded like gunshots
A man who attempted to withdraw his guilty plea was sentenced on Monday to three years of probation for multiple charges of assault, including assaulting officers
A man who attempted to withdraw his guilty plea was sentenced on Monday to three years of probation for multiple charges of assault, including assaulting officers.
Andie Jacob Adamson, 39, was charged in September 2021 with firing several rounds at a woman and her boyfriend. But in his plea, he admitted instead to taking actions that the victims would reasonably have believed could cause death or serious injury — which he clarified at the sentencing was setting off firecrackers. Adamson chose not to have an attorney represent him.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault, one count of aggravated burglary and one count of assault of an officer — all third-degree felonies. Multiple other charges were dismissed as part of the plea deal, including four counts of discharge of a firearm.
Third District Judge Teresa Welch sentenced Adamson to between zero and five years in prison for each charge but suspended those concurrent sentences in favor of probation. She denied multiple attempts by Adamson to withdraw his guilty plea, and a request to be transferred to a different judge was also denied.
In arguing to withdraw his plea, Adamson told the judge he had understood he was pleading guilty to class A misdemeanors. Robert Clegg, deputy Tooele County attorney, said the plea statement signed by Adamson clearly stated he was pleading guilty to felony charges, which could be reduced to misdemeanors after probation is completed.
Clegg said he initially agreed to recommend probation but Adamson had not kept the terms required before sentencing, so he instead recommended a prison sentence.
He said he "bet the farm" on Adamson, and that he thought Adamson would do well in the community after a year in jail — but when he was given a pre-sentence release, Adamson "caused a ruckus" in Terra, a small city in Tooele County, and police made contact with him multiple times and eventually put him back in custody.
"I was cheering for him, I wanted him to be successful," Clegg said.
Clegg said if Adamson had acted differently after being brought back into custody, he may have still recommended probation, although he said local officers would not be supportive of probation and are tired of dealing with him. The lawyer said when he initially presented the plea agreement recommending probation to law enforcement officers, they had concerns for their safety. Clegg said when Adamson gets upset, he gets violent and that he is a "public safety risk."
During the sentencing hearing, one of the victims said something needs to happen to change Adamson's behavior. He said that it is a reoccurring incident and that there is nothing provoking Adamson.
"Somebody has got to figure out how to help with this," he said.
Adamson defended his actions, saying he was provoked by neighbors taking items from his yard. He said he reported thefts but nothing happened due to his relationship with the sheriff. He said he understands how people may have thought they were being shot at, but that he was outside throwing firecrackers for most of the day.
Welch also ordered Adamson to stay out of Terra and not have any contact with the victims in the case. He was ordered to pay $5,670 to the Tooele County Sheriff's Office, in addition to potential payments to victims.