BURLEY — A Utah man’s sentence hearing was postponed Tuesday in Cassia County District Court after his attorney said new evidence has come to light.
Rodger Powell of Sandy, Utah, was found guilty by a jury in July of felony injury to a child, aggravated battery and misdemeanor interfering with a lawful hunt, after Cassia County Sheriff deputies said he grabbed a 16-year-old boy who was hunting about 10 miles east of Malta by the throat and punched him, in Sept. 2016.
The boy claimed Powell and two other men searched his pickup and took his .308 Remington rifle and told him they were going to shoot him with his own gun, kill and bury him.
Powell’s attorney Doug Nelson told the court that new evidence in the form of a letter written by the victim’s mother indicated that the boy had received two concussions prior to the concussion he received during the hunting incident.
He asked the court to delay the sentencing hearing to allow further investigation.
Nelson said the “great bodily harm” found by the jury had to be the concussion the boy sustained during the altercation.
Nelson said he needs to know where, when and how long the boy had the previous concussions and whether he received medical attention for them so he can turn that information over to an expert, which could be used as evidence in a new trial.
Cassia County Chief Deputy Prosecutor McCord Larsen objected to the delay, saying the charging documents did not disclose what injuries were related to the great bodily harm part of the charge.
His office, he said, was prepared to proceed with sentencing.
Cassia County District Judge Michael Tribe said he would delay the hearing to allow the parties time to see if an evidentiary hearing is needed.
A status hearing is set for Nov. 27 in district court.
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 for Dec. 11 in district court.
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 Nov. 27 in district court.