MANTI—The man arrested in Mt. Pleasant March 30 with the help of a Utah County SWAT team and a slew of state troopers will remain in jail without bail, Judge Marvin Bagley of the 6th District Court decided last Wednesday, April 6.
James Koyle, 43, made an initial appearance in court after being arrested for threatening to kill a Sanpete County sheriff’s deputy, as well as two Utah Highway Patrol troopers.
“I don’t know that a police officer in this community would be safe,” Judge Bagley said when discussing whether Koyle should be let out on bail.
In the hearing, Koyle said he had been “incarcerated for a long time” and was concerned about losing his VA (Veteran’s Administration) benefits. VA benefits can be suspended after a veteran has been in jail or prison for more than 60 days.
Koyle is a former paratrooper of the 82nd Airborne in the U.S. Army, according to his Facebook page. Following a 2013 conviction, Koyle was required to receive treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder at the VA Hospital in Salt Lake City.
Sanpete County Attorney Kevin Daniels said there have been two additional cases where Koyle was determined to not be fit to stand trial.
“He has some mental health issues, and they are exhibiting as threats to officers,” Daniels said in the hearing last week.
As part of his ruling, Judge Bagley ordered that Koyle be evaluated by a mental health counselor who can visit him in the county jail.
“It is not something that we typically do, but…we can work on making a special circumstance, to see if we can get a therapist to go to the jail,” Daniels said. He said he would try to arrange for the therapist through the VA.
Koyle was recently diagnosed with cancer, said his attorney Matt Jube.
“Before he was pursued by the police,” Jube said, “he learned that he had cancer that is likely terminal. He is probably not going to be around a lot longer—maybe a couple of years.”
In addition, Jube explained that Koyle has strong support from his family and would not be a flight risk.
“He has a very supportive wife, and they live together.” Jube said Koyle’s only ties are in the Sanpete County area, “and that’s why he is not a risk to run,” he said.
But Bagley said, “I honestly do not feel comfortable letting him out of jail given what I am reading that he texted…These are specific threats, and I don’t want him to go out and kill a cop.”
If a therapist, upon a psychological evaluation, indicates that Koyle is not a threat to society, the judge said he may reconsider bail during the preliminary hearing, which is scheduled for April 20 at 11 a.m.