St. George man who crashed through apartment ceiling trying to escape police sentenced on 4 cases

5th District Courthouse, St. George, Utah, date not specified | File photo, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A defendant appeared for sentencing on four separate cases following an arrest in May, when officers caught him exiting through an apartment after he tried to evade police by crawling though the ceiling of the complex.

2019 file photo of 5th District Judge Michael Westfall during hearing in 5th District Court in St. George, Utah, April 24, 2019 | File photo by Court Pool, St. George News

During a hearing held in 5th District Court via video last week, 29-year-old Jon Vincent Paxman appeared before District Judge G. Michael Westfall for sentencing on four separate cases that were combined into a global resolution by the state.

The defendant was arrested May 26, after officers found him without any shoes on and covered in fiberglass insulation, which occurred while he was hiding from police in the attic of an apartment complex just after he broke through the ceiling of the apartment but pulled himself back up, as previously reported by St. George News. He was arrested when he attempted to flee through a second apartment he forced his way into.

A second case was filed in connection with the theft of a trailer taken May 19 from Dixie Center St. George on South Convention Center Drive.

The third case filed related to a report that Paxman was attempting to cash a forged check at a small grocery store on Bluff Street one week later.

In the fourth case, Paxman was charged with felony theft after eight spools of copper were stolen from an electric company in St. George.

In June, Paxman pleaded guilty to four third-degree felonies, including theft, forgery, burglary and aggravated assault. He also pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of theft and criminal mischief.

Several misdemeanor charges were dismissed under the terms of the plea agreement, including one count of vehicle burglary, reckless driving, theft, interfering with an arrest and three counts of criminal mischief.

Prosecutor Jerry Jaeger addressed the court by saying the state’s position was to have Paxman serve time in prison on the charges, while Jacob Fisher, Paxman’s defense attorney, said that while he understood the recommendation included prison time, he asked the court to consider placing his client in a residential treatment facility, an option that had worked out well in the past, he said.

Fisher said he would like for his client to serve “a significant amount of jail time,” and then be released to a facility as part of his sentence.

Paxman also addressed the court, saying that his understanding was that sentencing would be postponed until he was able to complete a residential treatment program once he was able to find an open bed. He said he had been dealing with state insurance issues when the bed at a residential facility opened up, and he was still going through the acceptance process that had not yet been resolved.

2014 file photo of Jon Vincent Paxman, of St. George, booking photo posted Sept. 10, 2014 | File photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Fisher also said that while his client’s efforts to secure treatment had been delayed, he asked the court to issue a stipulated motion to release Paxman into a treatment program in lieu of prison.

Westfall then addressed both sides by saying while he was aware there were discussions regarding treatment as opposed to prison, he said he was not bound by any agreements entered into prior to the hearing.

Instead, he said, he was inclined to follow the recommendations as set forth in the presentence report completed by Adult Probation and Parole prior, a section of which he paraphrased during the hearing.

“There reaches a point when someone commits enough felony crimes – that they simply need to go to prison,” Westfall recounted from the report.

He then sentenced the defendant to serve 0-5 years in Utah State Prison on each of the felony cases. He also ordered that each sentence run concurrently.

During a discussion regarding restitution, Westfall said that in one of the cases involving the stolen trailer, Paxman caused more than $2,200 in damage – money the owner wanted the defendant to pay back.

In another case, Westfall ordered the defendant to pay $1,000 in restitution to the electric company that suffered a loss when the copper was stolen.

Westfall closed by addressing Paxman.

“I just don’t see you as a good candidate for probation any longer,” he said, adding it would be left up to the Board of Pardons to manage the defendant from there.

The transport order to Utah State Prison was signed during the hearing, and Westfall ordered that Paxman begin serving his sentence immediately.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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