LAYTON -- Although a Morgan County deputy's shooting of a female motorist in November appears to have been unjustified, the officer won't be prosecuted, Davis County Attorney Troy S. Rawlings said Tuesday.
Rawlings released a two-page memo summarizing his findings regarding the actions of Morgan Sheriff's Sgt. Daniel Scott Peay, who shot Kristine Nicole Biggs, 41, of Rock Springs, Wyo., in the eye following a chase that covered 32 miles and ended near South Weber.
"It is clear that Sergeant Peay's subjective hypothetical concerns, fears and analysis of the situation, due to the fact that an aggressive Biggs posed an ongoing risk to some degree, drove his decision to end the situation with the use of deadly force. In his mind, he was protecting life from an aggressor in vehicle who was not going to stop," the report says. "The Davis County Attorney's Office cannot and will not say that the shooting of Kristine Biggs is justified under the four-corners (of state law)...because we believe that a better and more credible view of the evidence is that it was not justified. However, we also believe a unanimous jury would not convict Sergeant Peay of a crime when presented with all the evidence."
On Nov. 25, Morgan County deputies initially signaled to Biggs to pull over on Interstate 84 because she had a broken headlight.
Instead of complying, Biggs continued west on I-84, then crossed the median and headed east, entering Morgan, where she turned again and got back on the interstate, according to authorities.
Morgan sheriff's officers called Utah Highway Patrol for help, and troopers put spikes on the highway.
The two right tires and the back left tire on Biggs' pickup truck were flattened, but she continued for another 6 miles before leaving the interstate at Exit 85.
Officers followed her, and she led them onto Cottonwood Drive.
In a patrol car dash cam video obtained by the Standard-Examiner, a Morgan deputy, with his service revolver raised, watches as Biggs' truck strikes the rear of his patrol vehicle.
"Get out of the car!" the deputy is heard yelling at Biggs.
She then revs the truck's engine, backs up, and appears to be attempting to drive away when the deputy yells again for her to stop. The video shows the deputy, who is off to the side of Biggs' truck, firing a shot that strikes her.
Biggs, who has pleaded guilty to failure to stop at the command of a police officer, and driving under the influence of alcohol, put people and property at risk by fleeing while intoxicated, Rawlings states in his report.
However, Peay's shooting of Biggs "does not squarely fit with the letter, scope and intent" of state law as well as significant cases from the U.S. Supreme Court," according to the report.
"An objective and impartial analysis concludes that the use of potentially lethal force in the shooting of Kristine Biggs was not necessitated by the facts," the report states.