Layton man faces felony charges for threatening to rape, murder deputies’ families

Posted at 10:56 AM, Jul 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-30 23:30:39-04

MORGAN COUNTY, Utah -- Police are asking the public not to disclose any information about deputies or their families after a Layton man threatened violence against them.

According to a Facebook post from the Morgan County Sheriff's Office, a deputy stopped a driver for speeding through a residential area in Mountain Green Wednesday. Authorities said he was going 46 mph in a 25 mph zone, and the vehicle was not registered and did not have insurance.

A second deputy arrived at the scene as backup, and the driver was cited and the vehicle was impounded.

Later in the day, deputies were notified that the man who had been cited was sending text messages in which he threatened to find the homes of the two deputies and commit acts of violence against their families.

The suspect was arrested Thursday night, but bailed out a short time later. He was later identified by the State Bureau of Investigations as 20-year-old Samuel Beckstead.

According to a statement of probable cause, the texts included threats of rape and violence.

"I'm gonna find where this guy lives and rape everyone he loves," one text stated.

One text threatened sex acts against the deputy's children, while another allegedly stated, "I'm gonna have so much fun choking his wife."

Another text cited in the PC statement reads, "I'm gonna some weird [expletive] to his family while he watches."

The Morgan County Sheriff's Office turned the case over to the Utah State Bureau of Investigation to avoid allegations of conflict of interest.

"With the nature of how things have been in the United States, we are concerned with officer safety," said Trooper Cameron Roden, who spoke on behalf of the State Bureau of Investigation.

According to court documents filed Friday, Beckstead faces the following charges: three counts of retaliation against a witness, victim or informant as 3rd-degree felonies, and three counts of threat of violence as class B misdemeanors.

The Morgan County Sheriff's Office asks the public to get a license plate number and call 911 if anyone asks them where a deputy lives or seeks any other information regarding their families.

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