LOGAN, Utah, March 24, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A Smithfield man arrested in July after police say he tried to kill an older family member with a hatchet while intoxicated has been sentenced to 260 days in jail, but has avoided state prison.
Ethan Drake Mortensen, now 21, was initially charged with attempted murder, a first-degree felony, and intoxication, a class A misdemeanor. He later pleaded guilty to an amended charge of aggravated assault, a second-degree felony.
The victim in the case reportedly asked that Mortensen be allowed to avoid state prison time, and spend his sentence in the Cache County Jail.
Police were called to the scene on July 9, 2020, and responded to a residence in the 500 South block of 100 East in Smithfield. A witness told the officer he heard the suspect and the older man fighting in the garage, the probable cause statement says.
The witness said he went to where he could hear them fighting and saw the suspect with a hatchet raised in the direction of the victim. The witness said he tackled the suspect to stop the attack. The victim said Mortensen then began screaming he was going to kill himself, then began cutting his own neck.
“The victim tried to calm Mortensen down, however Mortensen turned his anger toward the victim and went after him with the knife and hatchet and said ‘I am going to kill you,'” the statement says.
“The victim said he tried to stop Mortensen from stabbing him, and that is how he received a laceration to his hand. Officers were able to find both the hatchet and the knife used in this crime.”
Mortensen was arrested by responding officers and taken to Logan Regional Hospital for treatment, and later was booked into jail.