ST. GEORGE — A Southern Utah private probation officer pleaded not guilty Monday to a variety of criminal charges stemming from an incident in April in which he reportedly represented himself as law enforcement to hold a man and woman at gunpoint for allegedly cutting him off in traffic.
Kim Ray Terry II, 51, of Veyo, appeared before Judge Eric Ludlow in 5th District Court Monday where Ludlow ruled that prosecutors would continue to pursue charges against Terry to include two felony counts of aggravated assault and four misdemeanor counts of impersonation of an officer, unlawful detention and disorderly conduct.
Terry’s not guilty plea on those charges comes one month after the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing suspended his license amid new evidence that “the continued practice of Kim Terry as a private probation provider represents an immediate and significant danger to the public health, safety and welfare; and that the threat requires immediate action by the agency,” according to an Emergency Order issued July 28 by the division.
The order cites instances in which Terry allegedly abused his authority, committed unnecessary acts of violence and solicited sexual favors from female clients he was supervising, and acted in an unprofessional, unethical, predatory and exploitative manner.
Road rage and police impersonation
On April 9, police officers were dispatched to the area of Green Springs Drive and Buena Vista Boulevard in Washington City to assist with an incident in which Terry had allegedly stopped a vehicle and held a man at gunpoint to detain him for reckless driving.
“I arrived to the underpass of Green Springs where traffic was backed up due to the private probation agent (Terry) stopped in the intersection with a male in handcuffs standing up and leaning against the trunk of his car,” the responding police officer wrote in a sworn statement.
When the police officer asked what was going on, Terry reportedly said the man had cut him off in traffic before slamming on his brakes, according to the statement filed by the Washington City Police Department.
“(Terry) stated that is assault so I felony stopped him because I am a retired cop and ‘I know my sh–,’” the police officer wrote.
At that time, a woman stepped out of the stopped vehicle and told the police officer that rainy weather conditions had caused her and her husband’s vehicle to hydroplane near an area where two lanes merge, and that they were unaware they had cut Terry off in traffic.
The woman said when they pulled up to a nearby traffic light, Terry jumped out of his car and pointed a gun at them while demanding her husband get out of the car, according to the statement. The woman said she was terrified Terry was going to shoot her husband.
When the police officer asked Terry who he worked for, Terry said he worked as a private probation agent for Tread Armament, the report stated. The police officer said Terry had the appearance of a probation agent based off of his attire.
“Kim (Terry) was wearing a nylon duty belt typically worn by police officers that contained what appeared to be pepper spray, night attack, handcuff case and a gun holster with a glock holstered in it,” the officer stated. “He was wearing tan BDU pants and police style boots and had a badge hanging from his neck on a chain that stated probation officer on it.”
During the police officer’s investigation of the road rage incident, the police officer learned that Terry had no Utah certifications as a law enforcement officer and that he was being investigated by Adult Probation and Parole as well as the Department of Occupational and Professional Licensing.
“In talking with AP&P on their case,” the officer stated, “I was advised Kim has never been certified in any state as a law enforcement officer.”
According to the DOPL website, prior to his license suspension, Terry had held licenses in Utah as a private probation provider since 2013, and an armed private security officer since 2012.
In addition to the road rage incident – that occurred with Terry’s wife and daughter watching from their vehicle – for which Terry was criminally charged, Terry used unnecessary violence on other occasions, according to the Findings of Fact cited within the Emergency Order to suspend Terry’s license.
On or about March 5, Terry arrived at the residence of one of his probation client’s to arrest him for violating his probation.
Terry announced he was “Adult Probation and Parole,” drew his handgun and kicked in the front door of the residence, according to the complaint. Terry then proceeded to handcuff a woman who was in the home at the time but was not one of his clients.
“There were no exigent circumstances that justified (Terry’s) decision to kick in the front door of the residence,” the order stated, and further noted: “(Terry) does not work for Adult Probation and Parole.”
According to the Findings of Fact, Terry allegedly engaged in a sexual relationship with one of his probation clients while conducting official probation checks at her residence and at his office beginning in October 2015.
Terry was allegedly “fully aware” that this client was using illegal drugs while on probation, but he did not turn his client in for her probation violations, the DOPL order stated.
Another probation client was reportedly alarmed by a sexually explicit text message Terry had allegedly sent her on or about March 12, which prompted her to report his actions to the police. In that text, Terry requested that his client let him watch while she had sexual relations with another man, according to the filing.
On March 13, Terry reportedly sent that client a text informing her that he was dropping her from his probationary services due to her allegations against him, the report stated. Terry also reportedly told her it was unfortunate she went to the police, as the explicit text was merely a result of him loaning his phone to a “psychopath” and that he had since squashed the problem.
Even after receiving an April 26 formal notice of the division’s concerns that Terry had been acting in an unprofessional, unethical, predatory and exploitive manner, officials alleged that Terry continued the predatory pattern of behavior.
“The fact that (Terry) continues to engage in exploitative and predatory behavior with probationers, who are extremely vulnerable victims, is another aggravating circumstance,” according to the DOPL finding. “The fact that (Terry) has not made a good faith effort to rectify the consequences of his prior misconduct is yet another aggravating circumstance.”
After he was released from jail for the road rage incident, Terry reportedly began sending a series of inappropriate text messages to a third client’s phone in May and pressuring the client to send him nude photos of herself.
On May 9, a text to Terry’s client from Terry’s phone read: “Does it bother you that even though I’m your PO, that I have a crush on you?”
“Just want to see what’s under your clothes,” another text from Terry’s phone read. “You don’t have to show your face. I would keep them private. You are soooo beautiful.”
While Terry seemed to acknowledge that his behavior had crossed a line, his behavior reportedly continued: “Sorry I became attracted to you. I couldn’t hold back and it really f’d things up. I didn’t mean to,” he allegedly messaged. “I hope you’ll forgive me for being a married freak with a crush on a client.”
The client’s brother informed an investigator of Terry’s misconduct in July and said that he had begun accompanying his sister on probation interviews to make sure she is safe.
According to the order, Terry also violated his profession’s ethical codes when he allegedly took business away from another probation officer by falsely claiming the other probation officer had moved out of the state.
However, that probation officer had only moved office suites from suite 207 to suite 106.
Terry had reportedly taken over that probation officer’s suite and began keeping the paperwork from new clients that was intended for the other probation officer, according to the emergency order.
“This Order is necessary to prevent immediate and significant harm to the public pending a formal adjudication of the matters addressed in this proceeding,” the DOPL order read, “This order is the least restrictive action necessary to prevent or avoid the danger to the public health, safety or welfare.”
Tread Armament employment
Nick Whitney, president and CEO of Tread Armament and Weaponry LLC, said his company began an internal investigation into Terry after becoming aware of an active investigation regarding Terry’s alleged misconduct.
On the day of the alleged road rage incident, “Terry came in visibly upset and talked with us about the incident that he and members of his family were party to when the incident occurred on his personal time,” Whitney said. “… After Mr. Terry left our facility, I called and spoke with law enforcement regarding the incident, and informed them that we did not condone or support the actions of Mr. Terry.”
When Whitney and Terry met April 11 to discuss Tread Armament’s internal investigation, Whitney said “Terry became agitated and did not accept the fact that he was under an internal investigation.”
The meeting was subsequently the last day Terry and Tread Armament were affiliated in probations, according to Whitney.
Whitney clarified that Tread Armament was never the license holder for Terry’s private probation business, adding that, in the State of Utah, a company may not hold a private probation license. Terry did, however, utilize the company’s name for his private probation business from Jan. 1 through April 11, Whitney said.
“Due to Mr. Terry being the license holder on private probation, it is not a field that we are continuing to pursue at this time,” Whitney told St. George News in April.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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