EVANSTON — On Jan. 10, Mathew Olson of Lyman appeared in Uinta County Circuit Court for a jury trial on charges of child endangerment and driving under the influence of alcohol before Circuit Court judge Michael L. Greer.
The events were alleged to have occurred on July 25, 2012.
Prosecutor Lora Cooper called Jamie Cole as her first witness, directly after opening statements by Cooper and defense attorney Jack Vreeland. Cole testified she was standing on her front porch waiting for her husband to return home when she saw a blue pickup being driven recklessly through the Horseshoe Bend subdivision. Cole testified the vehicle was speeding, turning “cookies” and spinning its tires, throwing rocks and gravel before going off the road.
Cole further testified the vehicle then backed up and sped away in the opposite direction. She stated she called the sheriff’s office and reported the reckless driver.
Cole went on to state that she and her family went into town and saw the vehicle parked at a local laundromat.
“Are you sure it was the same vehicle?” Cooper asked.
“Yes, I’m positive,” Cole answered.
Defense attorney Vreeland asked Cole to draw a map of the area, and questioned whether she remembered events of that day clearly.
“Your husband didn’t see the vehicle?” Vreeland asked.
“No,” Cole replied.
Prosecutors called Lyman police officer Katharine Adams to the stand after a recess for lunch.
Adams was questioned about her training concerning DUI observations and detection, and her length of service with the department. Adams testified she and another officer observed Olson driving on Main Street in Lyman and parking on the sidewalk in front of the laundromat.
“When he got out of the truck he was jumping up and down. He seemed very agitated. I detected a very strong smell of alcohol,” Adams testified. “There was a 2- or 3-year-old child standing in the front seat on the driver’s side of the truck.”
Adams also testified the child seat in the truck was a “booster” seat, and not the right type of safety seat for a child of that size and weight.
Adams stated she administered field sobriety test to Olson, and informed the defendant he was being arrested for DUI at the conclusion of the tests.
A recording made during the arrest was played for the court, in which Olson could be heard shouting, using profanity and being argumentative. Adams testified she placed Olson under arrest and asked him to take a field breath test, which he refused.
In further testimony, Adams stated Olson was then transported to the detention center in Evanston and was asked to take an alcohol breath test at that time, but that test was also refused.
The officer then said she filed for a warrant to have blood samples taken from Olson, but by the time the warrant was issued, Olson was too belligerent to be safely transported to the hospital for the blood to be drawn.
After another short recess, Mathew Olson took the stand in his own defense. Olson testified he had been in the Horseshoe Bend subdivision and had spun the tires of his truck, showing off. Olson also testified he had consumed Black Velvet whiskey shortly before leaving the subdivision, and stopping at the Lyman Laundromat, where he was arrested.
The jury was sent out of the courtroom at about 5:10 p.m. to deliberate. The verdict was handed down at approximately 6 p.m. Mathew Olson was found guilty as charged on both counts. A sentencing date has not been set yet in the case.