ST. GEORGE — A man who appeared in court Wednesday seeking an early release from his jail sentence instead received a stern lecture from the bench when his request was denied.
Ted Anthony Summerhays, 57, of Santa Clara, appeared in 5th District Court in St. George for an early release review hearing after filing a letter of request with the court.
Summerhays was ordered to serve 150 days in jail in July after pleading guilty to a third-degree felony charge of enticing a minor by internet or text. He had served 95 days of that sentence when the review hearing took place.
When asked for the state’s position with respect to the early release request, prosecutor Zachary Weiland said the state would not be served by the defendant’s early release.
“Justice demands that he serve his time,” Weiland said.
District Court Judge G. Micheal Westfall responded to Weiland, saying, “I think justice would demand more than that,” referring to Summerhays’ sentence of 150 days in jail in lieu of a suspended prison sentence.
“What you did was disgusting,” Westfall said to the defendant.
Summerhays was one of seven men arrested in Washington County in November 2018 by authorities when they reached locations where they thought they would be meeting a juvenile. The arrests were the result of a five-day undercover operation conducted by the Utah Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Washington County Attorney’s Office.
Each of the men was charged with a second-degree felony related to enticing a minor. Summerhays’ charge was reduced to a third-degree felony in exchange for his guilty plea.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Westfall said that the court, the county attorney’s office and Adult Probation and Parole has accommodated the defendant thus far, but he was not going to be as accommodating.
“Your request for early release is denied,” Westfall said, advising Summerhays to “behave” himself for the duration of his sentence, “because you’re not going to be released today.”
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