LOGAN — A 21-year-old Smithfield man convicted of assaulting his father during a drunken brawl last year has avoided prison. Ethan D. Mortensen was sentenced to 260 days in jail, as a judge warned him that harsher penalties could follow if he doesn’t overcome his addiction and anger issues.
Mortensen was sentenced during a virtual hearing in 1st District Court Wednesday morning, appearing by web conference from the Cache County Jail. He previously pleaded guilty an amended charge of aggravated assault, a second-degree felony.
On July 9, Smithfield City police officers were called to an apartment near 555 S. 100 E. in Smithfield.
A witness had called 911 reporting that he overheard Mortensen arguing with his father. The man watched as the argument turned physical and the defendant pulled a hatchet and knife out of a backpack.
The witness reported Mortensen had been drinking heavily. As the fight continued, the defendant raised the hatchet over the victim, prompting the witness to intervene and tackle Mortensen.
The victim told officers that Mortensen went after him with the knife and hatchet, saying he was going to kill him. He tried to stop the suspect and received a laceration to his hand.
During Wednesday’s sentencing, public defender Ryan Holdaway disputed some of the witnesses’ account of what happened. He claimed that Mortensen never held the hatchet over the victim.
Mortensen told the court he has had a long history of rage between him and his father. He admitted, he had drank too much on the night of the assault, and let his anger get the best of him.
Cache County Deputy Attorney Dane Murray asked the court to send Mortensen to prison. He noted that the defendant has been convicted of two violent crimes now against his father.
Mortensen’s father asked the court to consider jail, saying that prison would be too harsh. He expressed hope that his son would be able to get help through counseling.
Judge Brian Cannell ordered Mortensen to serve eight months in jail, allowing credit for time already served. He warned the defendant, he wouldn’t hesitate to send him to prison if he didn’t change his life.