District Court, Salt Lake Department The Honorable Vernice S.
Trease No. 161903658
Pierson, Alexandra S. McCallum, and Robin K. Ljungberg,
Attorneys for Appellant.
D. Reyes and Tera J. Peterson, Attorneys for Appellee.
David N. Mortensen authored this Opinion, in which Judges
Ryan M. Harris and Diana Hagen concurred.
A husband (Victim) and wife (Wife) were spending the evening
buying and using drugs near a homeless shelter in Salt Lake
City. Alone, Victim went looking for more drugs. When he came
upon Cole Montana Boyle beating a woman, Victim intervened,
and Boyle then turned on Victim, stabbing him four times-once
in the arm, once on top of the head, once through the nose,
and, most seriously, once in the neck, slashing the carotid
artery. During the ensuing investigation, Wife was recorded
on a police body camera stating that Boyle had been beating
up a girl. Boyle objected to the admission of the recording
on the grounds that Wife's statement was hearsay. The
objection was overruled. A jury convicted Boyle of aggravated
assault, and Boyle was sentenced to prison. Boyle appeals,
arguing that he was prejudiced by the admission of hearsay
evidence and that the trial court abused its discretion when
sentencing him to prison. We affirm.
One evening in early January 2016, Victim and Wife drove to a
light rail station near a homeless shelter in downtown Salt
Lake City to buy and use drugs. Victim purchased some crack
concaine from a dealer, and he and Wife smoked it together in
their SUV. About thirty minutes later, Victim left the SUV to
search the area for a heroin dealer.
Victim testified that after exiting his SUV, he saw Boyle,
whom Victim did not know and had not seen before,
"punching a girl and knocking her to the ground."
Victim yelled out, "Stop, you don't do that to a
girl." He stated that Boyle hit the woman in the face
with his closed fist. When she fell to the ground, Boyle
"got on top of her and continued to hit her."
Victim testified that he "picked [Boyle] up off her and
pushed him forward." Boyle "turned around, looked
at [Victim], and kind of got in [Victim's] face a little
bit and then walked off." As Victim was helping the
woman, he saw Boyle quickly walking toward him and looking
"[l]ike he wanted to fight." Victim recalled Boyle
was holding "something shiny . . . . like a blade."
Boyle started punching Victim in the face, and Victim threw
punches back and grabbed Boyle's coat in an attempt to
defend himself. Boyle said, "Stop, stop, please stop,
cops are coming." As the two separated, Boyle lunged at
Victim and stabbed him. Boyle then walked away. Victim was
"really wobbly and wondering why [he] was so out of
sorts." Then he noticed blood was "spraying out of
Wife testified that she heard Victim yell, "Hey, you
don't treat women that way," about three or four
minutes after Victim left the SUV. She looked up and saw
Victim and Boyle pushing each other. Wife noticed a
"girl" and "a lot of other people"
nearby. Wife thought "everything was fine" when she
saw Boyle walking away from Victim. As she was putting on her
shoes so that she could go over "to see if everything
was okay," Wife heard a "commotion" and looked
up to see Victim and Boyle fighting. Wife then went to check
on Victim at the site of the altercation.
Wife found Victim holding his neck and saying that Boyle had
stabbed him. She yelled, "Call 911," but
"everyone looked at [her] like [she] was crazy," so
she went back to her SUV and drove it over to pick up Victim.
She took him to a police officer stationed outside the
homeless shelter and told the officer that Victim had been
The officer activated his body camera on contact with Victim
and Wife. He noticed Victim had "one of his hands up to
the left side of his neck[, ] and [he] could see there was a
lot of blood." The officer put a pressure dressing on
the wound and called for medical assistance. While waiting
for the ambulance, Victim and Wife gave police a description
of the suspect.
About a half an hour later, police officers located Boyle,
who matched the description given by Victim and Wife. Boyle
had injuries to his face and dried blood on his hands. Later
that evening, Wife identified Boyle as the man who had
attacked Victim. While being interviewed at the police
station, Boyle denied having been in a fight or seeing a
fight that evening. However, DNA testing later revealed
Victim's blood on one of Boyle's socks.
Victim sustained four knife wounds during the fight: one to
the top of his head, one through his nose, one in the right
bicep, and one in his neck. A surgeon determined that the
neck wound had damaged the carotid artery and required
emergency surgery. Subsequently, Victim suffered six strokes
and spent five to six weeks in the hospital recovering from
his injuries. At the time of trial, Victim continued to
suffer from numbness, lightheadedness, face drooping, and
Boyle was charged with attempted murder with a dangerous
weapon or, in the alternative, ...