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Moon avoids prosecution

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

Prosecutors say they won’t file criminal charges against a Woodland man who allegedly threatened a write-in candidate who challenged incumbent Sheriff Dave Edmunds last month — a move that could end spillover from the ugly political contest.

After Hoytsville resident Brody Taylor began campaigning against Edmunds, John Moon, of Woodland, told Taylor on the telephone if he didn’t withdraw from the race Moon would publicly accuse Taylor of raping Moon’s daughter, says Jason Taylor, the write-in candidate’s brother who recently blasted Christina Sally, who is the Summit County Attorney’s Office investigator who reviewed his accusations against Moon.

"I have a full tape of [Moon’s] discussion with me and we have info that [Moon’s daughter] was bragging to her friends that she was pregnant and getting married and she was happy," a Nov. 29 e-mail from Taylor to Sally states.

Taylor accused Sally of having an "obvious conflict of interest."

""I think you made your personal feelings against Brody come into play with this," states Taylor’s e-mail to Sally.

Taylor, who reportedly had a consensual sexual relationship with Moon’s daughter about eight years ago, sued Moon after the alleged threats claiming the South Summit man tried to use blackmail and extortion to force him to leave the sheriff race.

Moon, however, denied Taylor’s accusations in a response to the lawsuit filed in Third District Court in the Snyderville Basin Nov. 13.

"Defendants are not liable to [Taylor] because any statements they may have made regarding [Taylor] are true," Moon states in the court answer.

Moon did not accuse Taylor of the crime until the weeks leading up to Election Day, according to Taylor, who tape-recorded the alleged telephone call.

Moon, who is accused of extortion, blackmail and slander, is reportedly a friend of Edmunds, a Republican who defeated Taylor by gaining nearly 75 percent of the votes.

Summit County prosecutor Anne Cameron has declined to charge Moon criminally for allegedly threatening Brody Taylor.

According to Cameron, Moon is not guilty of harassment because he did not threaten to commit a violent felony.

"Assault requires the threat be accompanied by a show of immediate force or violence," Cameron states in a letter written to Sally Nov. 9. "Electronic communication harassment does address insults, taunts, or challenges made by way of an electronic communication device, but those comments must be made in a manner likely to provoke a violent or disorderly response."

Damage to a campaign or person’s reputation doesn’t constitute damage to the person or person’s property, according to Cameron.

"I am unable to find a statute which fits the facts that have been presented," states the prosecutor. "I am unable to determine that [Moon’s] conduct rises to the level of criminal conduct as defined by the existing legislation."

Jason Taylor’s accusations, however, did not stop there.

He sent a heated letter last month to Sheriff’s Office Capt. Dave Booth blasting Booth for allegedly threatening a former captain at the department to withdraw his support for Taylor’s campaign or risk damaging his retirement benefits.

"I want you to know I am very aware of the heat you put on [former deputy Tracy Sargent]," Taylor tells Booth in the letter. "I want you to know there are current deputies and employees that also know about the situation at the Chicken Inn, and your willingness to brag about it served no purpose at all My personal feelings are that you are no better than the people sitting behind bars in your jail."

But a complaint filed against Booth at the Utah Attorney General’s Office alleging that during the campaign Booth went to the Spring Chicken Inn restaurant, where Sargent is employed in Wanship, to threaten the former lawman, is "without merit and completely absurd," Edmunds said.

"Subsequent to [the attorney general’s] extensive investigation into this, I was told that [Taylor’s] complaint was found to be totally without merit," Edmunds said. "Clearly, this is a vindication."


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