OGDEN -- Injuries are complicating the prosecution of Jason Valdez, who police say shot himself as SWAT members stormed his motel room after a 16-hour standoff in June.
The Weber County Sheriff's Office is asking a judge to consider holding Valdez's future court hearings on video. The office is also looking into a wheelchair-accessible van to transport him to court.
In a letter to Judge Ernie Jones, Jail Sgt. James Briel explains that Valdez is currently paralyzed on the right side of his body, and lacks enough leg strength and coordination to maneuver on his own, requiring "significant assistance."
"Mr. Valdez is utilizing a colostomy bag. During the transport to court July 20, it required two deputies to lift Mr. Valdez into and out of the (court transport) van. Mr. Valdez can't bend his leg, which makes traveling difficult. On the return trip from the court Mr. Valdez had a colostomy bag break during the trip. Mr. Valdez stated that he would rather not go to court than have to be moved around in this manner."
Valdez, 36, spent 3 1/2 weeks in the hospital after the standoff with police June 19-20 in the Western Colony Inn motel at 234 24th St.
He barricaded himself and Veronica Jensen, 27, in his motel room after police tried to serve him with a felony drug-related warrant on that Friday night.
The incident went viral on the Internet as Valdez posted updates to events on Facebook, even after police shut off electricity and utilities to the room.
The standoff culminated with SWAT members making an explosive entry into the room from the room next door and removing Jensen after negotiations broke down.
As SWAT moved in, Valdez shot at and narrowly missed the faces of two team members, police said, then shot himself in the chest.
Valdes is charged with attempted aggravated murder, kidnapping and possession of a firearm by a restricted person, the latter charge due to prior felony convictions banning handling of firearms.
Although Jensen did not initially consider herself a hostage and posed calmly with Valdez for a Facebook photo early in the standoff, police officers said it became clear in the final hours of the standoff that she was held against her will, leading to the kidnapping charge.
He is scheduling for a preliminary hearing on the charges Sept. 9 before Judge Jones.
"If the hearings could be conducted via video court, the inmate would need only be moved from a bed to a wheelchair," reads the letter to Jones.
Jensen, who was a patron of the local drug court after an arrest in May on drug charges, this week was booked into jail without bail after skipping several of her drug court sessions since the shooting incident.
Police found her in possession of methamphetamine after she was released from the Western Colony Inn, which also violated the conditions of her drug court participation.