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Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office

Utah police: Mom convinced son to turn himself in after SWAT standoff

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Updated - Jan 10th, 2019 @ 3:32pm | Posted - Jan 10th, 2019 @ 6:55am

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SOUTH SALT LAKE — Police are crediting a Wyoming mom for convincing her son to turn himself in to police, after he allegedly prompted a standoff with SWAT officers and the evacuation of several South Salt Lake residents.

James Doyle Emerson McCormick, 52, of South Salt Lake, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail Thursday for investigation of two counts of possession of a firearm by a restricted person and drug possession in one case, and a domestic violence-related aggravated assault in another, according to police.

On Sunday, McCormick allegedly attacked his live-in girlfriend, causing multiple spine fractures, said South Salt Lake police detective Gary Keller.

Police had been looking for him since then. On Wednesday, officers followed him to the parking lot of McDonald's, 17 E. 3300 South, where they attempted to make a high-risk stop about 7 p.m., Keller said.

Initially, McCormick complied with officers' orders to throw his keys out of the window, but he refused to put his hands up, according to Keller. McCormick then allegedly got out of the car, grabbed his keys, got back in his car and sped off to his home, 61 E. Cordelia Ave.

Because of his history with guns and violence, a SWAT team was called and neighbors were evacuated. Murray police and K-9s from Davis County were also called to assist, said Keller. SWAT team members entered the house about 1 a.m. Thursday, but McCormick was gone.

About 30 minutes later, however, McCormick turned himself in to Murray police. McCormick's mother, who had been watching coverage of the standoff, drove to Utah from Evanston, Wyoming, to meet with her son and convince him to surrender, according to Keller.

"That is the best resolution we could have," he said.

While Keller was addressing the media outside the South Salt Lake Police Department after the arrest, a man who police say was McCormick's stepfather tried to intervene with his own questions. The clearly agitated man questioned why police caused so much damage to the house where the standoff occurred, and why so many officers attempted to arrest McCormick in the McDonald's parking lot.

"They all pulled their guns on him for what? A little domestic violence,” the man stated.

The stepfather claimed that he had talked to the woman and that she did not suffer a broken back or broken ribs.

"You guys are trying to blow this story out of proportion,” he told reporters on scene.

When investigators served a search warrant on McCormick's home they found "several firearms … as well as several thousand rounds of ammunition," according to a jail report.

McCormick has a lengthy criminal history. He was scheduled to go on trial on Jan. 23 on five counts of possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person and several drug-related crimes. Those charges were the result of a search warrant served exactly one year ago from Wednesday's standoff, on Jan. 9, 2018, at the same residence. Four rifles and two handguns were seized, according to charging documents.

In 1999, McCormick was charged in federal court with bank robbery. He was later convicted of that charge and sentenced to five years in federal prison, according to court records.

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