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Self-defense argued for man accused of attacking son over church mission

By Mark Shenefelt - | May 5, 2022

Photo supplied, Weber County Jail

Scott Keith Warner

OGDEN — An Ogden man accused of assaulting his son for refusing to go on a church mission is now arguing that he acted in self-defense and feared for his life.

Defense attorney Randall Richards said in a court document that his client, Scott Keith Warner, “believes that he was in fear for his safety and possibly his life and therefore was justified in using self-defense methods to try to control and keep (his son) off of him.”

Warner, 51, is charged with aggravated assault and committing domestic violence in the presence of a child, both third-degree felonies, in the scuffle at his home on Aug. 21, 2020.

According to Ogden Police Department charging documents, the 18-year-old son reported that he and Warner were arguing after he said he would not be going on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He said Warner grabbed him by the arm and they began to fight. According to the arrest affidavit, the son reported that “he was knocked to the ground and Scott began to strike the victim’s head into the wall repeatedly as well as squeeze the victim’s neck with both hands.”

Warner told police he tried to forcibly eject his son from the home “as it was his house,” according to the affidavit. He said he grabbed his son “wherever I could” in his effort to push him out of the house. He also said the son struck him first.

Warner was scheduled to go on trial next month, but 2nd District Judge Cristina Ortega canceled the proceeding after Richards filed a motion April 28 asking that the case be dismissed. The motion fleshed out Warner’s contention that he was the victim.

The motion said the father and son were sitting on a bed talking about the mission when the son allegedly became “very angry and defiant.” The motion alleged that the son stood up, Warner stood, and the son “started coming toward” Warner.

Warner, according to the defense motion, “asked (the son) to leave the home.” The son allegedly attacked Warner, the motion contended, hitting him on the chest with both hands and knocking him into a dresser. A close struggle began, the motion said.

“Warner was afraid for his safety and afraid that he was going to get seriously injured,” the motion said. “He then grabbed (the son’s) arms trying to protect himself. He saw that (the son) was attacking him and wanted to hurt (Warner).”

The Weber County Attorney’s Office has not yet responded to the motion, and no new trial has been scheduled. Pending trial, Warner is free under the supervision of pretrial services.

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