DUCHESNE — A Duchesne County man who shot another man in the head while the victim was driving past his property has received a suspended prison sentence after spending almost five years in jail while his case was resolved.
Clyde Wayne Thomas, 77, pleaded guilty in May to attempted murder, a second-degree felony, and discharging a firearm, a third-degree felony. On Monday, Judge Samuel Chiara sentenced Thomas to serve up to 15 years in prison for the attempted murder charge and up to five years in prison for the firearms charge.
Chiara then suspended the prison sentences and placed Thomas on probation for 36 months, noting that Thomas had served more than 1,700 days behind bars since his arrest.
Thomas fired a .22-caliber rifle at a man who drove past his land in the Pinion Ridge area of Duchesne County on Nov. 21, 2009. The man told deputies he was in the area checking on a friend's property. He suffered a head wound when a bullet entered his vehicle and fragmented.
Thomas also shot at deputies who responded to the injured man's call for help, court records show.
Questions about Thomas' mental competency stalled the case for more than three years. In May 2013, a judge ruled Thomas was able to understand the charges against him and assist in his own defense, allowing the case to move forward.
Everyone involved in the case acknowledged Monday that Thomas' mental illness played a role in the 2009 shooting. As part of his sentence, Thomas was ordered to live in an assisted living facility for veterans in Ogden where his mental health can be monitored and his medication can be managed.