OGDEN — Despite a probation recommendation by Adult Probation and Parole, an Ogden man accused of attempted murder was sent to prison on Wednesday.
Bradley Andrew Eppley, 22, was sentenced to serve an indeterminate term of one to 15 years in a state prison after he pleaded guilty to reduced charges. Eppley was convicted after pleading guilty to one count of aggravated assault, a second-degree felony; and one count of attempted aggravated robbery, a second-degree felony.
At the time of his arrest, Eppley was charged with first-degree felony attempted murder, but the charge was reduced as part of his plea agreement. Eppley pleaded guilty to the amended charges on Dec. 12, 2018.
Eppley was arrested in September 2017 months after he and another man, Bradley Austin Keyworth, allegedly lured an 18-year-old into a bathroom at Ogden’s 9th Street and attacked him on July 29, 2017. Eppley stabbed the man 11 times and Keyworth allegedly kicked and punched the man repeatedly. Charging documents say that Eppley tried to slit the man’s throat before taking the victim’s phone and leaving. The incident reportedly began due to an argument between Keyworth and the victim about Keyworth’s girlfriend.
The victim was able to recover from his injuries, and later told police that Eppley was responsible for the stab wounds. The victim was not present in court during Wednesday’s sentencing hearing in Ogden.
Eppley was present in court alongside his attorney, Ryan Bushell, who asked the court that his client be placed on a zero-tolerance probation, a recommendation by AP&P. However he did request that the additional 240 days in jail recommended by AP&P be waived, saying the past 477 days his client had served at the Weber County Jail would suffice as a jail time punishment.
Bushell read a letter in court written by Eppley, saying his client has difficulties speaking in front of groups of people. In the letter, Eppley wrote he wanted to be held accountable for his actions, and that he was deeply sorry for what he had done. He wrote that his actions were the “product of loyalty to a friend.”
He blamed his issues with alcohol as a factor to his actions that day. Eppley wrote in the letter that if given a sentence of zero-tolerance probation, he would complete the program.
Deputy Weber County Attorney Teral Tree countered Bushell’s suggestion, saying that Eppley has a robbery conviction in the juvenile system and the violence of the case merits a prison sentence. He said the victim is lucky to be alive, and noted the man was stabbed 11 times by Eppley. Tree said Eppley’s actions should require a prison sentence, and probation should not be ordered.
“Society as a whole would be aghast if he is given probation,” Tree said.
Bushell said that his client is willing to take responsibility for his actions and argued that it would “be easy” to send Eppley to prison, but zero-tolerance probation would put more of a control on his client.
Judge Ernie Jones told the court that to give a prison sentence for such a violent crime would be ludicrous. Jones said he has a serious problem with the violent nature the crime and how lucky the victim is to be alive.
“I can’t get away from how serious this offense is,” Jones said.
He scoffed at the recommendation from AP&P, and said, “if we aren’t sending people to prison on this type of offense, I think we should call it quits.”
Jones sentenced Eppley to terms of one to 15 years in the state prison on each of his two charges, and ordered the two sentences run concurrently. Eppley was also ordered to pay $12,577.16 in restitution to the victim.
The other defendant in the case, Bradley Keyworth, pleaded guilty to amended charges on Jan. 9, according to online court records.
Keyworth, a South Ogden resident, pleaded guilty to amended charges, which consist of one count of aggravated assault and one count of attempted robbery, both third-degree felonies. Keyworth was originally charged with first-degree felony attempted murder.
Keyworth is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 20 in Ogden’s 2nd District Court.