Harward sentenced to prison
over SWAT standoff in 2019
By Robert Stevens
MANTI—A Spring City man who instigated a SWAT standoff at this home last year was sentenced to 1-15 years of prison.
Paul Harward, 53, was sentenced by Judge Wallace Lee in 6th District Court last Wednesday to the Utah State Prison for the charges of attempted murder, a second-degree felony, and two counts of felony discharge of a firearm, both third-degree felonies.
On the charges, Lee sentenced Harward to a term of 1-15 years in prison for attempted murder, and two 0-5 year terms for the firearm charges. All charges will run concurrent.
Harward only had one minor criminal charge on his record from the 1990s, and since he had already spent more than 180 days in the Sanpete County Jail during his prosecution, the sentencing guidelines used in the pre-sentence investigation recommended his immediate release.
Harward’s court-appointed attorney argued that the sentencing guidelines were clear and fair, and that Harward was not cut out for prison, having suffered severe depression and mental problems caused by 25 years with the debilitating and painful disease, ulcerative colitis.
In court, Sanpete County Attorney Kevin Daniels argued for a prison sentence, arguing Harward had gone too far in his actions, and had even psychologically traumatized the responding SWAT officers by shooting at them.
Daniels told the court, “I understand that Mr. Harward has almost no criminal history, and also suffers severe mental health problems, but this was so egregious I think it warrants a departure from the pre-sentence investigation recommendation.”
The young woman who Harward fired upon on March 18, 2019 gave a victim statement and argued that Harward shouldn’t be sent to prison. The picture Daniels was painting of him was wrong, she said. He was suffering mentally, and should be released to get help now in someplace better suited than prison or jail to help him with his mental and physical conditions.
“I have known Paul since high school,” she told the court. “I just want to see him get some real help. I would be more than happy to help him. He has good intentions and no real criminal record. I beg you to take into consideration for the time he has already served.”
Judge Lee told Harward as he passed down his sentence, “I recognize this is your first time to be in trouble. It was a horrific situation that happened that night. I am so sorry for the suffering you have been through, and I don’t mean to kick you when you are down. I think that the prison sentence is required for the crimes you committed, so I am going to follow the state’s recommendation.”
Hardward was also sentenced to pay $7,437 in restitution for the damaged window of the SWAT van he shot.
The charges stemmed from an occurrence when a female friend of Harward visited his Spring City residence to do a welfare check on the man, and he had a mental breakdown, firing a .22 caliber pistol out his door in her general direction. One of the bullets hit her car.
The woman called authorities, who showed up on the scene, which quickly became a standoff. When a SWAT team arrived to deal with the situation, Harward fired multiple shots at them, one of which hit their SWAT van.
Harward eventually stepped out of the house and was fired upon by several officers, one of which shot him in the hand. He was eventually flown by medical helicopter to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, where his right hand was amputated below the wrist.