Facebook standoff trial gets October start date

May 23 2012 - 10:01pm


OGDEN -- Trial has been set in the SWAT standoff last June that ended up on Facebook.

Jason Valdez is charged with attempted aggravated murder for allegedly shooting at police who stormed his motel room in the Western Colony Inn to end a 16-hour standoff that began June 18.

Valdez posted pictures and comment to the popular social media site, even posing with the young woman police say he had taken hostage. Valdez had barricaded himself in the room after police tried to arrest him on a drug warrant.

Valdez shot himself in the chest as officers converged, which has left him confined to a wheelchair.

On Wednesday, trial before 2nd District Judge Ernie Jones was scheduled for five days beginning Oct. 22.

Without specifying, Valdez's public defender, Randall Marshall, indicated to the judge he might be filing pretrial motions in the case. Jones gave him a July 25 deadline.

Last month Valdez was sentenced to one-to-15 years in Utah State Prison after pleading guilty to the drug charges for which police were pursuing him in June, and which led to the armed standoff.

After the standoff ended in gunfire, comments -- mostly negative and topping 27,000 -- continued to post to Valdez's Facebook page.

Valdez is accused of narrowly missing two SWAT officers he fired at as they broke into his room through the wall of an adjoining room of the Western Colony Inn.

Veronica Jensen, the alleged victim in the kidnapping charge Valdez also faces at the October trial, appeared calm in photos on Facebook with Valdez.

She was subsequently jailed on drug charges after she was found in possession of methamphetamine upon her release from the motel room.

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