Carjacker sentenced to 120 days in jail, probation
By James Tilson
MANTI—A Mt. Pleasant man who pleaded guilty to a carjacking in January was sentenced to 120 days in jail and probation, although the judge said he received a lenient sentence because of his age.
Alex Hernandez, 18, pleaded guilty on June 26 to three second-degree felonies and two third-degree felonies, including robbery, kidnapping and discharge of a firearm. His plea agreement stipulated he would receive probation; however, the amount of jail time as part of probation would be up to the judge.
Hernandez accosted three teenagers in their vehicle at gun point in Mt. Pleasant on Jan. 21. Hernandez made them stay in the car and drive for several blocks, and then forced them out, threatening them with his hand gun. Hernandez then drove away from them with the vehicle.
The vehicle was later found with several bullet holes in it, and the car had been dented by a sledge hammer. Hernandez was arrested the next day in Provo.
“He’s only 18, but he’s had a long history,” said Sanpete County Attorney Kevin Daniels during the sentencing hearing. “He’s never shown the ability to follow the law. I’m wondering if we’re dealing with a psychopath.”
Daniels asked Judge Marvin Bagley to impose another 210 days in jail as part of Hernandez’ probation. Hernandez caused psychological harm to the victims and their families, which caused them to be afraid all the time, Daniels said.
Hernandez caused $6,775 of damage to the victim’s vehicle, totaling it. The father of the victim, who owned the vehicle, used it to go back and forth to his cancer treatments.
Daniels called Hernandez criminal history a “veritable cornucopia of crime.” He told Judge Bagley the only reason he had not asked for a prison term was Hernandez’s young age.
Judge Bagley also said he was surprised at the recommendation. “I’m also worried that you are a sociopath or psychopath,” Bagley said. “There’s nothing we can do to rehabilitate them; we can only warehouse them in prison.” Bagley looked down at Hernandez and asked, “That’s what you’re looking at. Is that what you want?”
Ultimately, Bagley followed the recommendation and sentenced Hernandez to 210 additional days in jail, to be followed by 48 months of supervised probation, as well as a mental health evaluation. Bagley reminded Hernandez if he violated probation in any way over the next four years, Bagley would send him to prison.