FARMINGTON — A 39-year-old man who offered to get rid of a witness for a Kaysville man entered guilty pleas to charges connected with offering to arrange the murder of a witness in another case.
Manuel Gilberto Jimenez entered guilty pleas to two counts of third-degree felony communication fraud on Monday before Judge John R. Morris in 2nd District Court.
A six-day jury trial set for later this month has been canceled. A sentencing hearing has been set for Oct. 22.
Prosecutors and the defense attorney have agreed, if the presentence report concurs, that Jimenez could serve three years’ probation that would run concurrently with his federal, supervised sentence in California.
Jimenez was originally charged with first-degree felony criminal solicitation and is being held in Davis County Jail on no bail, since his release in April from federal prison on unrelated charges.
The Davis County charges stem from a 2008 incident in which Jimenez told Billy Quinn Pierce, of Kaysville, he could help Pierce get rid of a witness.
Pierce testified at a preliminary hearing in September 2009 that he and Jimenez met in a holding cell at the federal courthouse in July 2008 while they both were waiting for court hearings.
On the bus back to Davis County, where they both were being held by the U.S. Marshals Service, Jimenez told Pierce he could get rid of the witness for $50,000, Pierce testified.
Pierce said he told Jimenez he did not have that kind of money. A few weeks later, Jimenez approached Pierce again and said he would have the job done if Pierce paid him $20,000 in cash and signed over the title of Pierce’s semitrailer.
Pierce testified he did not make any commitments and Jimenez then threatened him. Pierce said he contacted his attorney, who contacted law enforcement. They placed a recording device on Pierce, who made a deal with Jimenez.
Police have said Jimenez is a documented gang member.