OGDEN — A jury came back with guilty verdicts against an Ogden man facing two felony charges.

Lee Donald Cruz, 40, was convicted Wednesday afternoon of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated burglary, both first-degree felonies. At the time of his arrest, Cruz was also charged with second-degree felony possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, but the charge was dropped in August before the trial began.

Cruz was arrested on Dec. 18, 2017, four days after police were called to an apartment on Lincoln Avenue in Ogden. The complainant called police after she and a relative saw Cruz enter their home with a gun and ordered the victim, his live-in girlfriend, to leave with him. The call to 911 was placed after the two left.

Later, police "pinged" Cruz's phone and found the victim and Cruz at a different home in Ogden. Cruz's attorney, Shawn Condie claimed in his closing argument that the two were having sex when police arrived at the home.

RELATED: Ogden man accused of wielding pistol, kidnapping woman from home 

Minutes after police arrived at the home, the victim told police that she was avoiding Cruz and said, "I don't know how he found me." During the trial, which began on Monday, the victim said on the stand that the incident was a misunderstanding and she left willingly with Cruz that night. 

During the state's closing statement, assistant Weber County attorney Dee Smith said since Cruz's arrest, he and the victim have talked on the phone while he was in jail over 100 times, and played clips of some recorded conversations. He called the phone calls 11 months of tampering. 

Police also found two handguns in the toilet tank of a bathroom in the home where the two guns were found. FBI analysts were able to confirm that Cruz's DNA was found on the handle of one of the guns. 

Cruz took the advice of his attorney and chose not to testify during the trial.

During Condie's closing statement, he said the victim initially said she saw no gun when Cruz was in the home, despite what the prosecution claimed. He pointed to the victim's testimony the day prior, and said that she "went with him willingly, but annoyed." He said that the victim wasn't dodging Cruz or trying to avoid him, saying the two lived together at a home in Brigham City. 

Condie later pointed to the fact that two were having sex when police found them. He noted that this piece of information was no where to be found in charging documents. Why? Because he said it would be too quick of a turn around to go from an armed kidnapping to consensual sex in the same night. 

Both sides rested their case around 2 p.m., and the jury deliberated for roughly two hours before the guilty verdict in was read just after 4 p.m.

Cruz's sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 10 in Ogden's 2nd District Court.

Cruz has a lengthy criminal record, consisting of multiple state and federal convictions. He is currently facing a federal charge of felon in possession of a firearm, according to federal court records. A jury trial for that case is set to begin Feb. 26 in Salt Lake City. 

Jacob Scholl is the Cops and Courts Reporter for the Standard-Examiner. Email him at jscholl@standard.net and follow him on Twitter at @Jacob_Scholl.

(1) comment

Sabbatical

One more bad guy off the streets in Ogden..

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