LOGAN — A man who pleaded guilty to burglary, possession of a dangerous weapon and a controlled substance charge got what he asked for during his sentencing on Tuesday.
“I would just ask the court for a second chance,” Peter Silva said to the court after apologizing to the victim and expressing gratitude for treatment.
Silva, 42, was sentenced to 180 days in the Cache County Jail — with credit for 181 days served — and placed on probation, thereby avoiding a term in the Utah State Prison. Silva pleaded guilty in October to burglary, a second-degree felony; possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a second-degree felony; possession or use of a controlled substance, a third-degree felony; and attempted escape from official custody, a class-A misdemeanor.
Defense attorney Shannon Demler told the court Silva had done everything he could to improve his situation. Demler said Silva spent 128 days in inpatient treatment and completed a sober-living program. Demler said Silva’s case obviously began with drugs.
“He’s been sober for over a year now,” Demler said.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, officers responded to the report of a burglary in progress and found Silva being held at gunpoint by an occupant until police arrived. In his pockets, police allege to have found a substance consistent with methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and keys to a vehicle believed to have been stolen by Silva. Officers had also found a 9 mm handgun in the vehicle.
Silva was taken to an interview room at the Cache County Sheriff’s Office. According to the affidavit, Silva appeared to be “extremely high” on some sort of stimulant during the interview.
While alone in the interview room, the affidavit states, Silva dismantled a light switch, causing a surge of electricity to flip an electrical breaker. Silva had burns on his fingers and shortly thereafter went unconscious. He was taken to Logan Regional Hospital for medical treatment. The affidavit states that after being released from the hospital, Silva tried to escape through the visitor exit at the jail.
The alleged victim in the case briefly addressed the court prior to sentencing. While he didn’t know Silva very well, the victim said he was familiar with Silva’s family history and knew his brother.
“I don’t want to punish him any more than he already is,” the victim said. “I would recommend no additional punishment.”
Judge Brian Cannell said if not for the victim’s statements and Silva’s significant strides forward, Silva would be facing a much stiffer sentence.
“I would have sent you back to prison,” Cannell said. “You should be grateful.”