Man, his 3 girlfriends charged after domestic dispute with gunshots, impromptu ‘demolition derby’

Pictured from left are Ronnie Manzanares, Patricia Hatch, Charrise Durazo and Dorothy Jo Smuin. Photos: Duchesne County

FRUITLAND, Duchesne County, Sept. 7, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Four people are facing at least 18 charges after sheriff’s officials say a woman threatened to run her pickup truck into a makeshift cabin containing her boyfriend and two women who claimed to be his girlfriends, and the man responded by firing shots at the threatening vehicle.

Then the woman in the pickup crashed into the two other girlfriends’ parked vehicles before leaving the scene.

Investigators say that on Aug. 30, Dorothy Jo Smuin, 44, threatened to drive a pickup into a camp trailer that has been converted into a cabin if her boyfriend, 41-year-old Ronnie James Manzanares, didn’t tell her who was in the cabin with him, Duchesne County Sheriff’s Lt. Jeremy Curry said.

Deputies found tire impressions that showed Smuin had spun the truck’s rear tires while the vehicle was pointed at the cabin, the lieutenant said.

The two women who were in the cabin with Manzanares at the time later told deputies he responded to the threat by firing a gun multiple times at Smuin, Curry said.

Manzanares, a felon who is legally barred from possessing a gun, then left the area “because the cops were coming,” the women told investigators.

Both of the women in the cabin identified Manzanares as their boyfriend, Curry said. Deputies learned that as Smuin drove away during the shooting, she crashed into two vehicles that belong to the women in the cabin.

Smuin did not call to report the shooting, and was found a short time later at a gas station in Fruitland. The pickup truck Smuin was driving already had a spare tire on the front driver’s side that was smaller than the truck’s other tires, Curry said. Investigators were told the spare had been put on the truck because the original tire had two apparent bullet holes in it, the lieutenant said.

Deputies were unable to find Manzanares on Aug. 30, but learned the next day that he had returned to the cabin where the shooting happened.

SERT deputies set up a perimeter around the cabin before executing a no-knock warrant and arresting Manzanares. He was taken into custody without incident, Curry said. Deputies recovered a handgun that they believe was used in the shooting, Curry said. They also found drugs and drug paraphernalia, he said.

Manzanares was booked into the Duchesne County Jail on a no-bail warrant that was issued by the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole for his failure to return to a halfway house in Salt Lake City.

Duchesne County prosecutors have since charged him in 8th District Court with:

  • Use of a firearm by a restricted person, a second-degree felony
  • Aggravated assault, a third-degree felony
  • Discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony
  • Possession of a controlled substance, a third-degree felony
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.

Smuin is charged with:

  • Obstructing the service of a Board of Pardons warrant, a third-degree felony
  • Possession of a controlled substance, a third-degree felony
  • Obstruction of justice, a class A misdemeanor
  • Making a threat of violence, a class B misdemeanor
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.

Prosecutors have also filed charges against the women who were in the cabin with Manzanares. Patricia Mechelle Hatch and Charrise Monique Durazo are each charged with obstruction of justice, a class A misdemeanor.

Hatch, 46, is also charged with three drug-related offenses and Durazo, 34, is charged with two traffic-related offenses.

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