Child Kidnapping Charges For Salt Lake City Man Who Carjacked Vehicle with Child Inside

A Salt Lake City man was arrested for child kidnapping after he carjacked a car with a young child still in the back seat.

Theft of an occupied vehicle

29 year old Derek Orr was arrested after taking a woman out of her minivan and driving off with a four year old girl in the backseat. Orr waited until the woman had stopped in traffic and then approached her, demanding she give him her vehicle. He then opened her door and took her out forcefully, got in, then drove away. As the woman stood in the middle of a busy road yelling for help, she alerted other drivers that her daughter was in the stolen vehicle. Meanwhile Orr, who was under the influence of drugs, discovered that he wasn’t alone in the minivan and dropped the young child off at a business a few blocks away. The child was frightened but unharmed. Orr was later located and after a few hour standoff with law enforcement was apprehended. He now faces multiple charges including aggravated robbery and child kidnapping.

Child Kidnapping

According to Utah Code 76-5-301.1, “An actor commits child kidnapping if the actor intentionally or knowingly, without authority of law, and by any means and in any manner, seizes, confines, detains, or transports a child under the age of 14 without the consent of the victim’s parent or guardian, or the consent of a person acting in loco parentis.” Child kidnapping is a first degree felony, punishable by five years to life in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Piling on the charges

Although Orr purposefully carjacked the vehicle, it does not appear he intentionally or knowingly (at first) committed child kidnapping. Had that been his intent he would not have safely left the child somewhere for her mom or the authorities to locate her. While Orr may need to be punished for the crimes he committed, adding on additional charges to someone who made poor choices while high on drugs is just adding to the growing number of addicts already behind bars. Orr is currently being held on two misdemeanor charges along with eight felony charges including the first degree felony for child kidnapping. Anyone facing criminal charges should seek legal counsel, especially when the charges start to pile up unfairly. An experienced attorney can help defend all charges, including those that shouldn’t have been added in the first place.

Criminal Charges For Utah Man Who Made Threat of Terrorism in YouTube Comment Section

A Utah man is facing criminal charges after he used the comment section on YouTube to make a threat of terrorism toward the site’s employees.

Keyboard warrior

Photo by: Kelly Schott

35 year old David Levon Swanson of Orem, Utah was arrested following a series of hateful comments he made on YouTube videos that led the video site’s employees fearing for their safety. Some of Swanson’s comments including talking about the executives being murdered as well as them not “last[ing] much longer”. He later specified that he would “visit their campus in two weeks . . . [and] shoot any employees exiting”. That final comment, where he crossed the line from wishing death on someone to detailing what appeared to be an actual threat, could have been the final evidence needed for authorities to consider the threat tangible.

Threat of Terrorism

Utah Code 76-5-107.3 states “A person commits a threat of terrorism if the person threatens to commit any offense involving bodily injury, death, or substantial property damage, and:

    • threatens the use of a [real or fake] weapon of mass destruction” or “acts with intent to:
      • intimidate or coerce a civilian population or to influence or affect the conduct of a government or a unit of government;
      • prevent or interrupt the occupation of a building or a portion of the building, a place to which the public has access, or a facility or vehicle of public transportation operated by a common carrier; or
      • cause an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies to take action due to the person’s conduct posing a serious and substantial risk to the general public.”

Making a threat of terrorism is punishable as a second degree felony, third degree felony, or a class A misdemeanor depending on which of the above described subsections were violated.

Which Amendment?

Swanson claimed following his arrest that he did not make a threat to shoot the employees with a gun. He stated that when he used the term “shoot” he meant it in reference to shooting a camera. In his alleged threat he stated that by shooting the employees, he was exercising his First Amendment rights. The First Amendment protects the freedom of religion, free speech, as well as the right to peacefully assemble. It also protects a person’s right to photography as long as they are taking pictures to send a message and that the pictures are going to be shared with an audience. Law enforcement read Swanson’s comment as a threat to use a gun to which he should have stated his right to use his Second Amendment right to bare arms. Either Swanson got his Amendment and their accompanying rights mixed up in his alleged threat of terrorism or his threat to shoot was meant merely to take candid photos of the employees.

Express or implied

If the comment to shoot the YouTube employees had been the only thing Swanson had blurted out online, there is a chance law enforcement may have understood that his intent was to take pictures, not kill people. Unfortunately, the other comments depicting death and murder of the employees painted his intent in a more distressing light. Utah Code 76-5-107.3 notes that regarding a threat of terrorism, “It is not a defense under this section that the person did not attempt to carry out or was incapable of carrying out the threat.” Additionally, A threat under this section may be express or implied.”Regardless of what Swanson actually intended to do, his history of violent speech online set him up to face criminal charges for any threat made.

Freedom to curb your online rants

While everyone including Swanson has the freedom to speak their mind, it does not mean that anything said out loud on online is okay. Harassment, threats of terrorism, or violent threats are all punishable under the law. Anyone facing criminal charges for something they said should consult with a defense attorney.

Southern Utah Man Arrested for Deer Poaching in Utah

A southern Utah man was arrested for an almost three year old deer poaching case out of Nevada.

Poaching of a Mule Buck

USFWS Mountain-Prairie

In November of 2019 a nice sized mule deer buck was taken out illegally near the Utah Nevada border and for a couple years the killing went unnoticed. When Nevada game wardens realized a case of poaching had occurred in their state, they worked diligently with Utah law enforcement to track down the one responsible. Two and a half years and a lot of tax dollars later, they found the person responsible.

Barely an adult

21 year old Brayden Ray Norton of Washington, Utah was arrested for deer poaching, a category E felony in Nevada. At the time of the crime, Norton was a fresh 18 year old that likely had goals in his adult like that didn’t include going to a Nevada jail for a prized deer he tagged. According to Nevada Fish and Game, Norton has never acquired a hunting license in Nevada and therefore would not have been approved for one of their hard to acquire large game tags.

Deer poaching

In Nevada, deer poaching is punishable as a category E felony, punishable by one to four years in prison with a fine as much as $5,000. In Utah, deer poaching is known as illegal taking, possession or wanton destruction of protected wildlife. Section 23-20 4.7 adds that “A person is guilty of habitual wanton destruction of protected wildlife if the person . . . takes a big game animal”. Utah Code 23-20-4.5 notes that punishment for poaching a deer is a restitution amount of $400 to as much as $8,000 for a trophy animal. A person found guilty of deer poaching can also face a third degree felony, punishable but one to five years in prison and an additional fine of up to $5,000.

State borders

Photo by: Ken Lund

Nevada Fish and Game stated that the poaching incident occurred in Lincoln County, Nevada that happens to be the third largest county in Nevada, seventh largest in the nation. The east side of Lincoln county stretches the length of four Utah counties: Millard, Beaver, Iron, and Washington as well as the northwest tip of Arizona, that includes the well-known Virgin River Gorge. Most of this area between Lincoln County and its bordering counties is sparsely populated wilderness, with only a few major highways linking it to Utah. The remaining pathways between the two states on Utah’s southwestern borders are dirt roads, unpaved and possible unmarked. Nevada officials did not elaborate on how close to the Utah border the poaching incident had occurred or whether or not Norton was aware he had crossed into a neighboring state.

Intentional or accidental

Although he was not a licensed hunter in Nevada, Norton has obviously had experience hunting as he was able to bring down that large buck. It is possible Norton had been a licensed Utah hunter, a favorite pastime for many Utah parents and their children.At 18 years old, Norton had probably spent most of his hunting life under the watchful eye of his parents. Game wardens in Nevada claimed that Norton tried to get away with poaching yet, could he have been licensed in Utah and mistakenly crossed into Nevada while navigating back roads? While there are some laws that punish a person for accidentally committing a crime, most punish a person who has knowledge and intent – two things that Norton may not have had in this case. Anyone facing criminal charges in Utah or neighboring states is encouraged to seek legal counsel from a qualified attorney who can help a defendant show defend their mistakes and reveal their true intentions.