A man accused of restraining a woman with zip ties last September entered into a plea agreement on Monday, though he refused to admit to certain allegations in the case.
Caden Rodney Peterson, 29, pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree attempted kidnapping, and no contest to second-degree aggravated assault and third-degree domestic violence in the presence of a child.
On Sept. 16, Cache County prosecutors allege Peterson strangled a woman and affixed her to furniture using zip ties. It was also alleged the woman sustained injuries after being struck several times by Peterson.
During his appearance in court, however, it was stated to the court Peterson denied using zip ties during the assault, but understood his likelihood of conviction. In prior proceedings, the victim recanted large portions of her initial statements to law enforcement and asked the court for Peterson’s release.
According to Cache County prosecutor Griffin Hazard, the resolution in the case was informed by the recanted statements and defense counsel’s concerns of evidentiary issues not corroborated by photos of the crime scene. Hazard also said there was nothing that indicated police recovered any zip ties, which could be explained by the delay of the victim’s initial report to law enforcement.
“I believe her first story was accurate,” Hazard said.
For Hazard, the photos and statements from witnesses corroborate the initial narrative in the case. Photographs of the victim’s injuries included marks on the neck and “huge, deep” bruises on her back and legs consistent with strangulation and assault. “One giant” bruise, Hazard said, extended from her shoulder to her lower back.
As part of the plea agreement, the amended count to which Peterson pleaded guilty does not require him to be listed on Utah’s kidnapping registry. Peterson is set to be sentenced on June 14.