OGDEN — An Ogden man with a lengthy criminal record was once again sentenced to prison.
Lee Donald Cruz, 40, was convicted in November by a jury 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.
On Thursday, Cruz was sentenced on the aggravated kidnapping charge to serve at least the next 15 years and possibly the rest of his life in a Utah state prison. He was also sentenced to a term of five years to life for the aggravated burglary offense, and Judge Joseph Bean ordered the two sentences run concurrently.
Cruz declined to speak when given the chance during the hearing.
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 during his trial, Shawn Condie claimed in his closing argument that the two were having sex when police arrived at the 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, the victim said on the stand that the incident was a misunderstanding and she left willingly with Cruz that night.
Deputy Weber County Attorney Dee Smith said during the Thursday hearing that Cruz has a lengthy criminal record over the past 25 years and started when he was a juvenile.
Cruz was released from a federal prison less than two weeks before his December 2017 arrest, according to Smith. He also said that Cruz was allegedly involved in a shooting that injured one in the days prior to his 2017 arrest.
Cruz is also facing a federal felony for allegedly carrying a gun despite being a convicted felon. He has a jury trial set to begin April in Salt Lake City.
He has been held at the Weber County Jail without bail since his 2017 arrest.