Brendan Joseph Snider, 18, appeared before Judge Brandon Maynard via video conference call from the Cache County Jail on Monday. Snider was arrested on Nov. 9 and faces one count of first-degree rape.
During Snider’s appearance on Monday, defense attorney Joseph Saxton argued for Snider’s release from jail due to Cache County prosecutors failing to file a motion for detention. Saxton told the court Snider was indigent and, under the new bail guidelines, he was entitled to an own-recognizance release.
Prosecutors argued Snider be held due to the severity of the charges, however, Maynard ordered prosecutors to file a motion for Snider’s detention within 48 hours; if the motion was not filed by 12 p.m. on Wednesday, Snider was to be released.
Saxton confirmed on Friday that prosecutors had not filed the motion, though he didn’t have any further information as to why.
“Once the deadline had passed, I went to the jail,” Saxton wrote in an email; “they confirmed the order with the court, and released Brendan within an hour or so.”
Kaleb Aerin Witherspoon, 21, pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor in 1st District Court on Monday; seven additional similar felonies were dismissed as per a plea agreement.
Cache County prosecutor Aaron Jossie told the court a search warrant had been executed on Witherspoon’s home and phone. Ultimately, child sexual abuse material was found in Witherspoon’s possession, and it’s alleged he was trading the material online.
Witherspoon is set to be sentenced on Jan. 4.
Robert Reynolds Gerber, 50, had a no-bail warrant issued for his arrest on Monday after being released from police custody and failing to appear before the court for further arraignment.
Gerber faces one count of third-degree aggravated assault and a class-B misdemeanor for allegedly attempting to stab a man in a Logan grocery store with a screwdriver. Documents filed with the court state the alleged victim told police Gerber waved him over and began yelling at him. When the alleged victim turned to leave, he told police Gerber brandished a screwdriver.
Gerber “tries to stab the victim several times with the screwdriver,” police wrote. “The victim grabs a gallon of milk to defend himself.”
Documents filed with the court on Tuesday allege Gerber has failed to comply with pretrial supervision by ditching a methamphetamine “loaded syringe” in a potted plant in the Sheriff’s Office lobby days after being released. Supervision agents wrote video surveillance depicts Gerber “abruptly” leaving when staff discovered the paraphernalia and has since been evading deputies.
Connor Isaac Clifford, 28, was denied release or bail after appearing before Judge Brandon Maynard on Monday. Clifford is set to appear for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 14.
Clifford has been charged with four first-degree felonies for an incident alleged to have happened in October 2019; he faces two counts of object rape, aggravated kidnapping and forcible sodomy.
During Clifford’s appearance on Monday, defense attorney Edward Stone argued for his release, citing evidentiary and credibility issues as well as a lack of criminal behavior.
“These charges are not consistent with Mr. Clifford’s history,” Stone told the court.
Cache County prosecutor Tony Baird told the court Clifford met the alleged victim online, purchased a round-trip ticket for the victim, and sexually assaulted the victim in Cache Valley after consensual sexual activity. Baird told the court Clifford acknowledged the assault in messages to the alleged victim.
Stone said the alleged victim lives out-of-state and the messages referenced by prosecutors lacked context.
Maynard ordered Clifford to be held without bail, citing risk to the public and the victim.