CEDAR CITY – A Cedar City man arrested over the weekend for allegedly threatening to shoot police is now able to bail out of jail for $500 – with stipulations – despite opposition from the county attorney.
Fifth District Judge Keith Barnes set a bondable bail of $5,000 for Christopher Lee Lescoe, allowing him to bail out with only 10 percent, or $500, of the total amount.
Lescoe has been held in the Iron County Correctional Facility without bail since Saturday night when he turned himself in after 48 hours of what authorities called “erratic behavior.”
The 32-year-old is facing six third-degree felonies for felony discharge of a firearm and two misdemeanors for threat of violence and discharge of a firearm.
Defense attorney Jack Burns requested Barnes set bail arguing his client’s behavior over the weekend was “out of character for him.” Burns admitted Lescoe had been drinking but pointed to his criminal history as proof that “he is not a violent person.”
“This was a bad time that was fueled by alcohol,” Burns said.
The court record shows Lescoe pleaded guilty in 2006 to possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. The charge was initially a third-degree felony and later amended to a class A misdemeanor. Lescoe was also convicted in 2005 on misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance and two counts of possession or purchase of a dangerous weapon.
Burns asked the court to treat the six felony charges as one count, arguing that while his client allegedly discharged his firearm six times, he did so all at the same time making it one incident.
Burns asked that stipulations of Lescoe’s bail, per the family’s request, include an alcohol evaluation and follow up with recommended treatment. Burns told the judge the family did not fear for their personal safety nor Lescoes.
Iron County Attorney Scott Garrett argued he did not believe this was a “typical” case that deserved only $5,000 bondable bail but felt it should be at least $20,000 bail and the same stipulations already outlined by Burns. He also asked that a risk assessment by conducted prior to release.
Garrett said he believed there is still a “sense of community danger,” given the alleged threats toward law enforcement including personal ones at Cedar City Police Chief Darin Adams. At some point during police negotiations, Lescoe also indicated he was watching police through a rifle scope, Garrett added.
“Perhaps not with the intent to do anything, but, nevertheless, he did have his gun trained on officers. He has guns, he has ammunition, he has all those things,” Garrett said. “Coupled with alcohol we can see what can happen if it’s not tended to and looked at carefully. I’m not asking for no bail. I know there needs to be some kind of bail set – but I’m concerned.”
Burns argued the monetary bond is only meant to secure reappearance, adding, his client is not a flight risk so therefore the bail need not be set so high.
In an emotional plea to the court, Lescoe spoke to the judge during the attorneys’ arguments to ask for his own release. Lescoe said he did not remember the weekend’s events and felt “ashamed and embarrassed” about his alleged actions. Lescoe said he had not been drinking or using drugs for the past 12 years until now.
“Please give me a chance,” Lescoe said. “I made a mess. I’m not going to mess up. I lost everything in the matter of a weekend.”
Barnes ordered both a substance abuse evaluation and a mental health assessment be conducted. In addition, Lescoe is not to consume any alcohol or possess any weapons.
He is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing April 12.
According to the probable cause statement filed in 5th District Court Friday night in a request for an arrest warrant, Lescoe said he wanted to “commit suicide by cop.” He threatened police multiple times beginning Thursday night until Saturday evening when he finally turned himself in at about 6 p.m.
The documents detail how Lescoe’s behavior was “erratic” over the weekend.
The statement, written by the police chief, said Adams saw him load an assault-style rifle into the back of his vehicle. Later, Lescoe told Adams he was “going to learn a (expletive) lesson tonight.” He added that he had just loaded “two thousand rounds of .222 ammunition” into his truck.
During a phone call with Adams Lescoe allegedly discharged his firearm six times into the wall of his home – police later found the shell casings when they visited the residence.
On Friday night authorities followed Lescoe down to Washington County but decided to back off while they secured the arrest warrant. The next morning Lescoe contacted CCPD again promising to turn himself in when he returned to Iron County, Sgt. Jerry Womack said. However, the defendant came back at around noon but did not immediately surrender.
Email: [email protected]
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.