This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Misdemeanor charges filed last week against Susan Hunt in Tooele County's justice court were dismissed on Monday, but could be refiled possibly as stiffer crimes after the county attorney reviews the case.
But that won't happen until toxicology and police reports have been submitted to his office, said Tooele County Attorney Scott Broadhead, adding that toxicology reports typically take about three weeks to complete.
Susan Hunt, the mother of Darrien Hunt whose son was shot and killed by Saratoga Springs police in 2014 was charged Friday with class B misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence and reckless driving for a Jan. 26 episode in which she collided with a Utah Highway Patrol cruiser in Tooele County. The 52-year-old Saratoga Springs woman also was charged with disorderly conduct and driving on the wrong side of the roadway, which are infractions.
The trooper initiated the charges by filing a citation with the justice court. But Broadhead said his office asked for dismissal of the charges so prosecutors can review the case.
A docket entry on the justice court case indicates the case "will be filed in District Court," which would happen only if one or more charges were elevated to a class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in jail. A class B misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of up to six months.
Broadhead said harsher charges could "possibly" be filed against Hunt, "but we won't know until we see all the information."
Meanwhile, he said, the justice court case had to be dismissed to prevent Hunt from coming in, pleading guilty and ending any chance that different charges could be filed.
Hunt who appeared to be suffering from a medical problem, as well as impairment, according to a UHP report was taken to a hospital after last week's crash.
The report says that the trooper was looking for a "reckless driver" about 11 p.m. Tuesday after a passerby on State Route 73 reported a westbound vehicle was swerving on the road, according to UHP. The trooper turned on his overhead lights as he found a car moving in and out of the southbound lane while traveling north on State Route 36 in Stockton, the report says.
The trooper pulled up next to the car as it was traveling north in the southbound lane and got Hunt to slowly move back into the northbound lane, the report says.
"The driver would not stop and was heading toward some homes on the east side of the road," the trooper says in the report. "At the time, I feared the driver would crash into a house and injure herself and residents in the homes."
He maneuvered his patrol car in front of Hunt's vehicle, and the driver side of her car "made contact" with the passenger side of the cruiser, the trooper says in the report.
"It just missed me," the trooper is heard saying on dashcam video of the incident.
The dashcam video shows the trooper confronting Hunt, but it cuts off when she begins speaking because she discusses private medical issues, according to UHP Sgt. Todd Royce. He said Hunt appeared to be suffering from a medical problem, but there was evidence of impairment apart from that.
The report says the trooper smelled a very strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Hunt and saw a case of beer and an open can of the beverage on the passenger floor. The trooper talked to Hunt for 13 minutes, trying to get her to exit the vehicle on the passenger side. She refused to exit and tried to start the car.
The trooper grabbed Hunt's right arm and she tried to hit him in the face, the report says. Another trooper helped the first one remove Hunt from the car. She was put in handcuffs and taken to a hospital by ambulance.
At one point, Hunt told a trooper he was "evil" and that she wished his children would die.
Hunt's 22-year-old son Darrien Hunt was shot in a parking lot in September 2014 after a 911 caller reported seeing a man carrying a sword. Darrien Hunt's family said he was cosplaying as a favorite manga comic character when police approached him. Police said he was speaking with them when he pulled out his sword and lunged at them. The two officers chased him and shot him multiple times.
Saratoga Springs has offered Susan Hunt a $900,000 death settlement, the acceptance of which has become the subject of a federal court dispute.