Former Cedar City police officer accused of insurance fraud resolves case

Former Cedar City police officer accused of insurance fraud resolves case

(Stace Hall, KSL TV, File)

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CEDAR CITY — A former Cedar City police officer who survived being shot in 2007 has resolved the insurance fraud case filed against him earlier this year.

Jason Steven Thomas, 41, pleaded no contest to an infraction Thursday, a reduction from his original charges of fraudulently obtaining workers' compensation insurance, a third-degree felony, and attempted theft by deception, a class C misdemeanor.

Thomas' plea will be held in abeyance for six months, during which time he must pay a $480 fee or complete 48 hours of community service, according to court documents.

Fifth District Judge Jeffrey Wilcox also ordered Thomas to complete counseling and pay a $43 court fee.

Beaver County Attorney Von Christiansen, who prosecuted the case, said in a prepared statement that "the state is satisfied that the court's order holds Mr. Thomas accountable for his actions while taking into account his unique challenges and circumstances."

Thomas was accused of fraudulently acquiring between $1,000 and $5,000 from October 2013 and March of this year, charging documents state. The attempted theft by deception was for an amount less than $500, according to the charges. Specific details of the case were not released.

Cedar City officials confirmed when charges were filed that Thomas had left the police department June 30, though they didn't elaborate on whether he left voluntarily or under the department's direction. The city issued a statement thanking Thomas for his many years of service and did not comment on the allegations against him.

Thomas was shot Jan. 5, 2007, when he stopped to help Bryan Featherhat, whose pickup truck was stuck in a snow bank. The initial shotgun blast hit Thomas' protective vest, but Featherhat shot him again in the side where he wasn't shielded. Thomas dove behind a snow bank as Featherhat continued to fire until he fled.

In an interview with the Deseret News in February 2014, Thomas said the shooting left him with a bruised lung, broken ribs and penetration injuries from shotgun pellets.

Featherhat, now 40, was convicted in 2008 of attempted aggravated murder and is currently serving a sentence of 10 years to life in the Central Utah Correctional Facility.

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