ST. GEORGE – Details of a pending plea agreement came out in court Monday in a case involving an ex-sheriff’s deputy accused of having inappropriate sexual relations with female inmates.
Steven Thayer, along with his attorney, Gary Pendleton, appeared in 5th District Count Monday morning for a preliminary hearing. Pendleton told Judge G. Michael Westfall that Thayer would be waiving his right to a preliminary hearing because a plea offer was still on the table between the defense and the prosecution.
Thayer allegedly engaged in custodial sexual misconduct with three women while working at the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility, which resulted in seven class-A misdemeanor charges and one third-degree felony charge.
The accusations and ensuing charges were the result of an investigation conducted in September 2013. Thayer was subsequently fired and arrested.
Pendleton said the state and defense had come to an agreement to dismiss the felony charge and waive the preliminary hearing for the remaining misdemeanor charges.
“This is with the understanding with the state that if we don’t ultimately reach an agreement on a resolution, that the state will refile the felony and we will ask for a preliminary hearing on all the charges,” Pendleton said.
Westfall asked Deputy Washington County Attorney Ryan Shaum if that was the state’s understanding as well.
“That is the agreement, your honor,” Shaum said. “We’re anxious to resolve this case.”
The third-degree felony charge was dismissed without prejudice and a resolution hearing was set for Feb. 4 at 10 a.m.
A pending plea deal in the Thayer case has been in the works since September, yet has been pushed back a number of times due to details still being worked out, as well as a recent switch up in staff at the Washington County Attorney’s Office.
Senior Deputy Washington County Attorney Brian Filter, who had been leading the state’s case against Thayer, left the county attorney’s office at the end of October to take a position with the Douglas County, Nevada, District Attorney’s Office.
Thayer’s case, along with others Filter had been involved with, were reassigned to other deputy county attorneys which caused the defense some confusion over just who was handling the case for the state. Deputy Washington County Attorney Zachary Weiland ultimately took the case for the state following Filter’s departure.
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- Resolution pending in ex-sheriff’s deputy sexual misconduct case
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