Attempts to reach a plea deal with five people charged in connection with a dispute in Blacksmith Fork Canyon that went viral on YouTube last Memorial Day have failed, so the case may be headed for trial.
Samara Nielsen, Braxton Haderlie, Cory Durney, Rikki Durney and Wyatt Pack all stand accused of harassing a Hispanic family during the Memorial Day holiday last year.
While they can still agree to a negotiated settlement with the Cache County Attorney’s Office, a June 25 preliminary hearing has been scheduled in order to keep the case moving forward.
Charges were filed last year after the alleged victim posted a video to YouTube.
Jose Caballero and his family were stranded in Left Hand Fork on May 27 after they experienced mechanical problems with their truck. They had no cellphone service in that part of the canyon, so another camper was taking a message to a friend while Caballero and his son were working on the vehicle, they told the Cache County Sheriff’s Office.
The Durneys and a 17-year-old juvenile were allegedly first to encounter the family and confront them about being in a space they say was reserved for them. Pack, Nielsen and Haderlie allegedly arrived 15 to 20 minutes later, and the verbal confrontation with the family escalated significantly and included Pack making threats to burn down the family’s trailer if they didn’t move it right away.
Eventually, Pack allegedly said he would move the truck for them for a price and he demanded $40 in payment, which they gave him without hesitation.
Part of the interaction was captured on video by a Caballero family member and was uploaded to YouTube, where it has now logged more than 300,000 views. Publicity in the case led to Pack’s termination from a position with Weber County.
Cory Durney was charged with rioting and aggravated assault, both third-degree felonies. He was also charged with criminal mischief and causing damage with intent to defraud, a class A misdemeanor.
Rikki Durney was charged with rioting, a third-degree felony.
Nielsen and Haderlie were both charged with rioting, a third-degree felony, and threatening or using a deadly weapon in a fight, a class A misdemeanor.
Pack was charged with threat/use of a dangerous weapon in a fight, a class A misdemeanor; rioting, a third-degree felony; assault, a class A misdemeanor; assault, a class B misdemeanor; theft by extortion, a class A misdemeanor; and threat of violence, a class B misdemeanor.