ST. GEORGE – A St. George man who was involved in a 10-hour standoff with police in 2014 pleaded guilty in 5th District Court last week.
Guy Fotheringham, 60, appeared before Judge John Walton Thursday and pleaded guilty to felony counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in a domestic violence incident and discharging a firearm.
As a part of a plea deal, additional charges of criminal mischief, possession of a firearm by a restricted person and criminal trespass were dropped.
The judge scheduled sentencing for June 30.
Jay Winward, Fotheringham’s attorney, said his client was happy about the plea deal and was also grateful to start getting the events of Dec. 2, 2014 behind him.
According to court records, Fotheringham had an altercation with a neighbor in the Hillside Palms RV and Mobile Home Park at 215 N. 600 East behind the Coronada Inn and Suites hotel. While in the neighbor’s home, Fotheringham “illegally entered or remained on the neighbors property and broke property belonging to the neighbor.”
Fotheringham then returned to his own property, where a domestic dispute broke out between he and his wife. Fotheringham threatened to kill his wife and her pets. During this dispute, Fotheringham retrieved firearms and began firing them, according to police records.
The woman was able to contact police and retreat from the trailer the two lived in while Fotheringham’s back was turned. She told police Fotheringham was ill and hadn’t been taking his medication, which was causing emotional stress.
According to court records, the firearms used were an AR-15 and a .32-caliber pistol. Investigators estimated between eight and 10 rounds were fired during the incident.
Responding police officers set up a perimeter around Fotheringham’s home and called in the SWAT team and negotiators. Residents in the surrounding area were also evacuated and access to the area was blocked off to traffic.
The standoff eventually came to a close after police fired powdered pepper spray into Fotheringham’s home and were subsequently able to move in and take the man into custody. The standoff last approximately 10 hours.
During the event it was learned Fotheringham was a veteran, at which point Bruce Solomon, a readjustment counselor with the St. George Vets Center, was called in.
Fotheringham’s wife told police her husband may be dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“He is experiencing distress and, right now, he claims PTSD, and we’re checking all that out,” Solomon said following the standoff. “He said he stopped taking his medication and began to self-medicate with alcohol.”
Interviews with Fotheringham revealed he hadn’t been deployed on active combat duty while in the service, Solomon said, so he never came under fire.
Though Fotheringham was evaluated as a possible candidate for the Veterans Judicial Initiative, a program set up to aid veterans facing legal issues, he did not go through the program.
Fotheringham applied to take part in mental health court but was not accepted. He has since participated in a treatment program offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.