A Salt Lake City man found guilty of illegal discharge of a weapon for firing at a burglar fleeing his mother-in-law’s vacant home was sentenced Friday to probation.
Glen Wayne Decker, 53, was staking out the house, located near 1100 E. Harvard Ave. (about 1150 South), with his wife on the evening of April 27, 2016, according to court documents. The home had been burglarized the night before.
They left the backdoor, which had recently been kicked in by intruders, unsecured. As the couple lay in wait, armed with revolvers, they saw flashlights illuminate the dark home at about 10 p.m., Decker later told police.
When a man and woman appeared, Decker and his wife confronted them at gunpoint. The man put his hands up as he backed away as if to escape. When the man refused to stop, Decker shot him in the stomach, Decker told police. The woman remained on scene, held at gunpoint by Decker’s wife.
The man fled the home but his bag became entangled in a tree and a silver plate taken from the home fell out, court documents state. He freed himself, jumped in his car and drove off.
“Decker stated that he unloaded the rest of the bullets into the vehicle at the male,” a probable cause statement says.
Police have said that Decker was arrested because the male suspect was unarmed, did not apparently pose a threat to the caretakers’ safety, and could have been allowed to escape.
The wounded man later turned up at an area hospital.
A 3rd District jury in November found Decker guilty of one count of second-degree felony discharge of a firearm and three counts of third-degree felony discharge of a firearm.
Judge James Blanch on Friday suspended a three- to five-year prison term and imposed three years of probation. He also imposed eight days of jail, but gave Decker credit for the eight days he had already served.
The two intruders, who were both on parole at the time of the shooting episode, were charged with burglary and other counts.
The man, then-50-year-old Shane Kennedy — who was paroled in January 2015 after serving time for theft by receiving — pleaded guilty to class A misdemeanor criminal trespass and was sentenced to 90 days at the Utah State Prison.
The woman, then-46-year-old Paulette Marie Gray — who was paroled last October 2014 after serving time for drug possession — pleaded guilty to third-degree felony burglary and was sentenced zero to five years in prison.