CEDAR CITY – A Kanarraville man may be guilty but not of the charges the state is pursuing against him, at least that’s what his attorney argued at Monday’s trial.
Criminal defense attorney Gregory G. Skordas told the jury during his opening argument that his client, Grant Louis Biedermann, is guilty of something, but not the two first-degree felonies of aggravated attempted murder the filed against him.
Fifth District Court Judge James L. Shumate is hearing the case.
Biedermann, 43, is also charged with a class B misdemeanor of carrying a dangerous weapon while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Biedermann was arrested and later formally charged following a Dec. 14, 2013, incident where he allegedly shot and injured then 27-year-old Iron County Sheriff’s Deputy Kellen Hudson. Hudson was hit below his bulletproof vest and above his belt.
Iron County Attorney Scott Garrett refuted Skordas’ statement by arguing the evidence in the case would prove the charges against Biedermann are valid.
According to charging documents, officers were dispatched to Kanarraville for a suicidal subject. A video played to the jury Monday showed that when deputies arrived on scene Biedermann opened fire.
During the preliminary hearing in 2014, Biedermann’s then-criminal defense attorney Jack Burns raised questions introducing the possibility of different motives as to whether or not Biedermann intended to hit Hudson when he allegedly fired his gun or whether he was just randomly shooting to entice fire from the officers in an attempt to commit “suicide by cop.”
Skordas played off this same line of questioning Monday in his cross-examination of Hudson and Cpl. Jeff Humphries, the other officer who responded to the incident.
Testimony given during Biedermann’s preliminary hearing revealed the bullet that went through Hudson was never recovered during the investigation conducted by the Iron County Critical Incident Task Force.
Biedermann’s attorney used this information during trial to introduce the possibility that Hudson’s own bullet or even one of Humphries’ bullets could have ricocheted and hit him when the deputies fired on the suspect.
Skordas asked Hudson if he knew the source of the bullet that hit him and Hudson answered “yes.” However, Skordas then reminded Hudson he was asked the same question during the preliminary hearing and the answer he gave then was not the same as the one he gave in court Monday.
Hudson said he did not recall that answer. Skordas then asked him to read from the transcript of that hearing showing the deputy did in fact testify he did not know the source of the bullet.
After reading the transcript, Hudson responded on the stand by saying he believed the bullet came from Biedermann’s gun.
“I don’t believe it was a ricochet, sir,” Hudson said.
Skordas countered Hudson’s response.
“I’m not asking you what you believe. I’m asking you what you know,” Skordas said.
The attorneys agreed to end the day of questioning at 4:30 p.m. after watching the video. Biedermann’s trial is scheduled for the rest of the week.
The Iron County Attorney’s Office recently offered Biedermann a plea agreement but the deal fell apart after the defendant decided he would take his chances in front of a jury.
The judge can allow the jury after trial to find Biedermann guilty on lesser offenses than what he is currently facing.
The details of the proposed plea agreement are not known. County Attorney Scott Garrett said it’s likely Biedermann refused the offer hoping the jury would find him guilty of lesser charges.
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