Man convicted of assaulting son for refusing to go on LDS mission
OGDEN — An Ogden man has been found guilty of assaulting his son after the 18-year-old refused to go on a church mission.
Second District Judge Cristina Ortega delivered the verdict against Scott Keith Warner at the conclusion of a bench trial on Sept. 8, according to court records. Warner, 51, was convicted of third-degree felony charges of aggravated assault and commission of domestic violence in the presence of a child in the Aug. 21, 2020, incident at the family’s home.
According to Ogden Police Department charging documents, the 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.
In pretrial action, defense attorney Randall Richards said in a court document that his client “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.”
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 son, two other family members and Warner testified during the one-day trial.
Ortega set sentencing for Oct. 21. Third-degree felony charges carry a penalty of up to five years in prison. The judge will have the option of ordering the prison time, jail time, or suspended incarceration with probation.
Warner has been free on bail since soon after the incident. After the verdict, Ortega denied a prosecution motion that Warner be taken into custody pending sentencing.