Jury trial set for Perry man accused of attempting to kill Mendon family

Booking photo for Charles W. Leff (Courtesy: Cache County Jail)

LOGAN — A trial has been scheduled for a 64-year-old Perry man accused of threatening to kill a family in their Mendon home. Charles W. Leff is being held in the Cache County Jail without bail since being arrested in January.

Leff participated in a virtual hearing in 1st District Court Monday morning, appearing by web conference from jail. He has been charged with five counts of attempted aggravated murder, a first-degree felony; four counts of possession of a firearm by a restricted person; and, two counts of tampering with a witness, a third-degree felony. Also, he has been charged with several misdemeanors.

Public defender Ryan Holdaway requested the two-day jury trial, explaining that he had been unable to work out a plea deal with prosecutors. He acknowledged they were prepared to wait until trials are allowed again due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Judge Brian Cannell set the jury trial to begin June 10. He scheduled a final pretrial conference for May 10.

During a preliminary hearing in March, prosecutors presented their evidence in the case, including interviews with the alleged victim and her 911 call to police. They also played an interview with Leff’s wife, where she described how the suspect angrily left their home on the morning of January 24 and drove to Mendon with the plan to kill several family members.

The woman explained that Leff had become enraged that he couldn’t see his grandchildren. He packed a suitcase with medication, grabbed four firearms, and told her that she would never see him again.

The victim learned about the threat from Leff’s wife and called 911. Another family member witnessed the suspect driving in front of her home several times, before deputies initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle.

Leff was found to be in possession of the four guns and marijuana. He was taken into custody without incident.

As part of their evidence, prosecutors also played two phone calls Leff made to a friend from jail. During the conversations, he asked the man to contact his wife and encourage her to recant her statements to law enforcement. He explained that he was looking at “serious prison time” if she didn’t. The phone calls were allegedly in violation of a protective order the woman had filed earlier against the suspect.

Court records show Leff was previously convicted of sodomy of a child, lewdness of a child, aggravated assault and threatening another person with a weapon. He could face up to life in prison if convicted on these new charges.


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