Cedar City man pleads guilty to attempted murder charge

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CEDAR CITY – A Cedar City man originally charged with 12 felonies, including three counts of attempted murder, pleaded guilty to half of the charges Tuesday as part of a plea agreement with the state.

Brett Hunter plead guilty to attempted murder Tuesday for a 2015 arrest. Cedar City, Utah, Aug. 12, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff's Office, St. George / Cedar City News
Brett Hunter pleaded guilty to attempted murder Tuesday for charges stemming from a 2015 arrest. Cedar City, Utah, Aug. 12, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George / Cedar City News

Brett Steven Hunter, 37, agreed to plead guilty to one count of attempted murder, a first-degree felony. In addition, he pleaded guilty to two counts of felony discharge of a firearm and two counts of aggravated assault – all third-degree felonies.

Hunter was originally charged with three counts of attempted murder, four counts of aggravated assault and five counts of felony discharge of a firearm and one misdemeanor for possession of a controlled substance.

The defendant is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 1 following a presentence investigation that will provide the court sentencing recommendations.

In an interview with Cedar City News following the court hearing, Hunter’s attorney, Bryan Jackson, said it is likely his client will be given four years to life in the Utah State Prison.

Under the circumstances and given the original charges Jackson said he felt positive about the plea agreement.

“I think given the situation and the conditions we were working under the plea agreement was more than fair,” Jackson said.

According to the charging documents filed in the case, on the night of the incident Cedar City Police responded to a call that shots had been fired at a residence located on the 300 South block of 400 East. At the time, Hunter was reported to have been locked in the back room.

When authorities arrived on scene they could hear yelling and screaming and ordered Hunter to come outside with his hands up. The defendant followed officers’ orders.

Hunter was living in the home with his father, sister and her three children. He told police he woke up early that morning and smoked marijuana and looked at pornography.

He went back to sleep and later awoke to find his sister and her daughters still in the home, which made him angry because it was preventing his plans to “look at pornography on his computer and work out,” according to court documents.

Knowing his sister and her daughters were in the back room, he grabbed the gun and began kicking the door. When it didn’t open, Hunter fired off a shot, knowing his sister and daughters were behind the door, police stated in the documents.

Before authorities arrested Hunter and took him to the office for an interview, he stated he had made a big mistake and was sorry.

“Brett continued to ask who was dead,” according to the police report. “He asked me three to four times if everyone was alive and who he killed. I asked Brett later in my interview why he asked that question and he stated two of them were behind the door in the closet when he shot and he thought he killed one of them.”

The sister sustained a minor injury during the incident while her three children were not injured.

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Twitter: @tracie_sullivan

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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