BURLEY — A Cassia County judge granted an evidentiary hearing Nov. 27 for a Utah man convicted of injuring a teen during a hunting incident — after his attorney said new evidence came to light.
Rodger Powell, of Sandy, Utah, was found guilty by a jury in July of felony aggravated battery, injury to a child and misdemeanor interfering with a lawful hunt after Cassia County deputies said he grabbed a 16-year-old boy who was hunting by the throat and punched him 10 miles in September 2016 east of Malta.
The boy claimed Powell and two other men searched his pickup, took his rifle and told him they were going to shoot and bury him.
Powell has filed a motion for a new trial.
Cassia County Judge Michael Tribe granted the evidentiary hearing so Powell’s attorney can question the victim’s mother about statements she made in an impact statement regarding her son having concussions the previous summer.
Tribe had postponed the sentencing hearing for Powell on Nov. 13 at the request of Powell’s attorney who said they needed the evidentiary hearing.
“Because these are felony charges we want to make sure to get it right and make sure there were no errors by the state or anyone,” Tribe said.
Cassia County Chief Deputy Prosecutor McCord Larsen argued against granting the hearing and said the letter was not sworn testimony and not fact.
Attorney Doug Nelson, representing Powell, said his client maintains that the teen’s story was fabricated and he said the symptoms the teen described may have come from previous head injuries.
A date for the hearing was not set but will be scheduled at the convenience of the boy’s mother.
Jeff Owen Smith of Eagle was also found guilty by jury of felony injury to a child and misdemeanor interfering with a lawful hunt.
A sentencing hearing is set in the case at 1:15 p.m. Dec. 11 in district court.
Smith has filed two motions for a new trial; one was denied by the judge and the other he withdrew.
Edward Grant Horne was also charged with felony grand theft, aggravated battery, injury to a child and misdemeanor interference with hunting.
A status conference in the case is set at for 8:45 a.m. Jan. 22 in district court.