AMERICAN FORK — An Orem man has been charged with threatening to shoot his estranged wife's family — forcing an elementary school to go into lockdown — because he was upset over their pending divorce.
Jared Luke Farnsworth, 43, is charged with attempted murder, a first-degree felony; making a terroristic threat and two counts of stalking, second-degree felonies; and possession of a firearm by a restricted person, a third-degree felony.
On Dec. 5, police say Farnsworth repeatedly called his estranged wife's work and sent her emails until she finally answered his call. Farnsworth's wife had recently left him and moved to Idaho with their children. In addition, she "blocked his phone calls because of his repeated and unwanted attempts to reach her," according to charging documents.
When Farnsworth's wife finally took his call, police say he "begged" her not to file for divorce. But "after she told him it was over and she was not getting back together, he began to threaten her," the charges state.
Farnsworth sent his estranged wife pictures of a gun and "told her that he would hurt her family and that she would see it on the news that night," according to the charges.
"Jared then told her that he had a gun and he would make the news if she did not come back to him. When (she) asked Jared what he meant by that he talked about how he blamed her family for causing her to leave him. Jared told (her) that her family might not be safe," a police affidavit filed in 4th District Court states.
The estranged wife called 911. While emergency dispatchers were on the phone with her, one of Farnsworth's co-workers also called 911 to report that Farnsworth had repeated his threats to him, stating "that if his wife left him, he was going to hurt her family that were still in Utah so she would feel the pain she was putting him through," the charges state.
"He also told the co-worker that he was going to the employer to send a message that he was giving up on life and wanted to go out by sending a message, and that he was going to kill his wife's sister," according to the affidavit.
"Jared told (the friend) further that since his wife did not take him seriously he was going to show her how serious he was by killing her family. (His wife) is in Idaho but all of her brothers and sisters are in Utah County," the affidavit states.
Orem police pinged Farnsworth's cellphone and reported finding him driving in a car on State Street toward his employer in Pleasant Grove. A handgun was found on the front passenger seat, according to court records, "fully loaded with a round in the chamber and an additional 100 rounds of ammunition. It was outside of its holster, which lay next to it on the seat."
Because of the threats, Farnsworth's employer had gone into lockdown mode, as had the elementary school in Lehi where his estranged wife's sister works, the charges state.
The case was transferred on Tuesday to American Fork's 4th District Court. Farnsworth's next court hearing is scheduled for Dec. 18.