MORGAN — A felony suspect’s girlfriend harassed a witness and demanded he take out a loan to pay her boyfriend’s bail, Morgan County attorney records show.
Shelly Lynn Ezell, 50, made her initial appearance last week in 2nd District Court in Morgan on a felony charge of retaliating against a witness and a misdemeanor charge of harassing that witness.
Ezell allegedly sent the witness a barrage of threatening text messages, including one saying, “will cut your throat I don’t like rats” and said she would tell Child Protective Services the man beat his son unless he recanted his testimony against her boyfriend, Andrew Owen Pentz, 30. Pentz is charged with three felonies and five misdemeanors.
Judge Noel Hyde recommended Ezell hire an attorney. Her felony retaliation charge could result in a maximum of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The harassment misdemeanor could carry up to six months in jail.
The charges arose after Ezell, Pentz and others went camping Oct. 17 near Spring Hollow road in Enterprise. After the battery of Pentz’s tan 1984 Chevrolet motor home went dead, he and the man Ezell is accused of threatening tried to get the vehicle to start.
Pentz allegedly took out the motor home’s battery, stabbed it repeatedly with a 10-inch Bowie knife, then grabbed the other man in a choke hold and threatened him. Pentz let go but began to chase the man’s 4-year-old son with the Bowie knife. After that, reports state, Pentz took the man’s red 1992 Ford F150 pickup truck, which was later found with its hood stabbed several times. Pentz was booked Oct. 17 into Weber County Jail.
The witness came to the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 30 to report that Ezell was trying to get him to recant his testimony because she wanted Pentz released from jail.
Ezell tried to have the man impersonate Pentz to apply for a loan so the money could be used as bail, Morgan County Sheriff’s Deputy Rob Taylor said in a report. Ezell also threatened to call Child Protective Services and tell the agency he beat his son, the report stated.
Ezell was arrested when she came to get a copy of the police report regarding the Pentz case, Taylor’s report stated. Ezell received a copy of the report, but Taylor put her in handcuffs, double-locked them and transported her to Weber County Jail.
Pentz, who also appeared in 2nd District Court, tried to fire his court-appointed attorney, Stephen Laker, because the attorney recommended that Pentz get a psychiatric evaluation.
The judge denied the motion to fire Laker because the lawyer is a public defender; therefore, Pentz did not get to choose. Hyde approved Laker’s motion that Pentz undergo the mental evaluation.
Pentz is charged with two felonies for aggravated assault and one for possession of a firearm despite being forbidden by law to have one because of his criminal record that included a separate felony.
The firearm was a sawed-off shotgun, a federal offense that compounds his illegal possession of a firearm. The sawed-off shotgun turned up in evidence obtained by search warrant following the Oct. 17 incident.
The sawed-off shotgun possession charge may be transferred later to federal court, but no decisions have been made, said Morgan County Attorney Jann Farris.
Penz’s five misdemeanors were for the unlawful possession of the 10-inch hunting knife despite his felony record, criminal mischief, possession of drug paraphernalia, using a car for an extended period of time without permission of the owner, and intoxication to a degree that he endangered himself or others.