Man accused of stabbing person in chest in St. George receives sentence

Composite image with background stock photo of 5th District Court and overlay booking photo of Adam Edward Faraci, 22, taken in Washington County, Utah, Dec. 27, 2021 | Booking photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff's Office, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A 22-year-old man facing a felony aggravated assault charge appeared Tuesday for sentencing in 5th District Court, and an otherwise clean criminal history was the deciding factor in the case.

Booking photos of Adam Edward Faraci, 22, who was arrested following a stabbing on Sunset Boulevard in St. George, Washington County, Utah, Dec. 27, 2021 | Booking photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Adam Edward Faraci appeared for sentencing before District Judge Eric A. Ludlow via Webex on second-degree felony aggravated assault, as well as three misdemeanor weapons, drug and paraphernalia charges, all of which the defendant pleaded guilty to last month.

The charges were filed in connection with an incident reported Dec. 26, 2021, when St. George officers and emergency personnel were dispatched to a business on Sunset Boulevard shortly after 7 p.m. They arrived to find a man bleeding from a knife wound to his chest, a laceration that appeared to be approximately 3 inches long and just as deep, the police report states. The injured man was transported by ambulance to St. George Regional Hospital for evaluation and treatment.

Officers initially began to canvass the area for two suspects, and shortly thereafter they located two younger transient men walking near the intersection of Valley View Drive and Sunset Boulevard. They matched the description of the suspects reportedly responsible for the attack.

When asked if the suspects had any weapons on them, one of the men, later identified as Faraci, said he did not. He said, however, that he had a knife in his backpack that was later recovered by police. The knife was found to have blue fibers on the blade, which matched the blue T-shirt the injured man was wearing at the time of the incident, as well as a small piece of flesh and blood that was visible on the metal, the report stated.

At some point during the attack, the 911-caller fell to the ground, which is when the suspect said he attempted to stab him in the arm to “shut him up,” the officer wrote in the report. Faraci was then arrested and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility where he was booked into jail.

2020 file photo for illustrative purposes only of Prosecutor Mark Barlow in 5th District Court in 2018, St. George, Utah, March 3, 2020 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

During Tuesday’s hearing, Faraci was represented by Ryan Stout, a public defender, while the state was represented by Prosecutor Mark Barlow.

Stout addressed the court by saying his client was young and had no violent crimes on his record prior to the December incident.

To that, Ludlow said, “Well that’s what’s a head-scratcher,” adding the defendant did in fact have a clean record until this incident, which was “pretty violent,” and disturbing to the court.

Stout responded by saying his client may have been suffering from a drug-induced mental condition at the time of the incident, possibly psychosis or paranoia, which caused him to act unreasonably under the circumstances. 

Stout asked the court to follow the recommendation as set forth in the presentence report, instead of sending Faraci to prison. He also asked that the defendant have the opportunity to undergo mental health evaluations and treatment, as well as substance abuse treatment while in custody.

Barlow said the state was also asking the court to follow the recommendations in the report, which he said was an appropriate sentence considering all factors involved. The prosecutor also shared similar comments regarding what started the incident, saying the stabbing did seem to stem from a mental health episode that could have been drug-induced.

Barlow also brought up the lack of violent offenses in the defendant’s criminal history and how that was incongruent with the level of violence that occurred during the incident. 

2017 file photo for illustrative purposes only of District Judge Eric Ludlow presiding over a abuse case in St. George, Utah, Feb. 14, 2017 | Photo by the Utah court pool, St. George News

These factors ultimately led the state to believe that mental health and drug counseling and drug counseling will address the factors that led to the charges being filed, “hopefully” Barlow said, adding those underlying issues can be addressed in jail and while Faraci is on probation.

Ludlow said he would follow the recommendations as set forth in the presentence report and he suspended the prison term of 1-15 years, the maximum sentence allowed by law, on the aggravated assault charge, as well as the sentences on the three misdemeanor charges.

Instead, the defendant was ordered to serve 240 days in jail with credit for time served, which was the 142 days the defendant had spent in jail since his arrest in December.

Upon his release, Faraci will be placed on 36 months’ probation with Adult Probation and Parole and was also ordered to continue any mental health and substance abuse treatment, and to release those records to the court, as well as other standard provisions. 

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

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