This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A 3rd District Court jury on Friday convicted a man of trying kill a Unified Police officer in 2015, an attack that prompted the officer to shoot and wound an innocent bystander moments later.
Jeremy Michael Bowden, 33, of Salt Lake City, was found guilty during a four-day trial of first-degree felony attempted aggravated murder for shooting at least five times at Officer Cory Tsouras as the officer sat in his patrol car. One bullet lodged in Tsouras' bullet-proof vest and others hit his headrest.
Bowden, who didn't testify at the trial, also was found guilty of obstruction of justice; receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle; and the purchase, transfer, possession or use of a firearm by a restricted person, all of which are second-degree felonies. He also was convicted of five counts of third-degree felony discharge of a firearm, and failure to stop at the command of law enforcement, a misdemeanor.
Bowden who claimed he was not the person who fired at the officer faces up to life in prison on the attempted murder charge when he is sentenced March 23 by Judge Douglas Hogan.
"We are very pleased with the jury's verdict," said Deputy Salt Lake County District Attorney Nathan Evershed. "Justice happened here. When someone tries to kill a police officer ... they should be found guilty. It's important not only for justice sake but also for our community and our law enforcement."
Testimony from witnesses who had seen Bowden from the beginning of the encounter until the end, as well as dashboard camera footage from a Utah Highway Patrol trooper in the area that showed Bowden firing his last shot at Tsouras, was "key evidence," Evershed said.
At about 8:15 p.m., on Oct. 30, 2015, a Unified Police officer located a stolen truck in the parking lot of a Midvale business at 38 W. 7200 South. When a man approached the truck and the officer confronted him, the man fled on foot, according to trial testimony.
The defense admitted that man was Bowden, but claimed Tsouras was shot at moments later by someone else.
Tsouras, who was nearby, testified that when he caught up with the man in a nearby parking lot the suspect began shooting and the windows of his patrol car shattered around him. Tsouras said he sped through the parking lot to put distance between him and the shooter and did not see the shooter's face. After parking near a car wash at 150 W. 7200 South, Tsouras spotted a man crouched beneath an awning who was dressed like the shooter. The man had a dark object in his hands later identified as a lanyard and set of car keys and refused to comply with orders to show his hands, Tsouras said.
Tsouras fired six to eight times at the man, later identified as 30-year-old Dustin Evans, who had pulled his vehicle into the car wash as Tsouras was being shot at.
Evans, who suffered injuries to his hand and leg from two bullets, filed a notice of claim in April against Salt Lake County through his attorney Rocky Anderson.
In June, the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office cleared Tsouras of any criminal wrongdoing.
When officers realized Evans was not the suspect, they set up a containment area. When two officers stationed at an apartment complex near 7155 South and 190 West saw a man jump a fence, they fired Tasers and arrested him.