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Police arrest man charged with hate crime attack after he was released from jail in error

By Annie Knox, KSL | Posted - May 27, 2020 at 7:11 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — Nearly three months after he was released from jail in error, police have again arrested a Payson man charged for his role in an alleged hate crime attack on a black Latter-day Saint missionary.

The Utah County Sheriff’s special enforcement team found Sebastian Francis West, 19, in a Payson home late Tuesday, Sgt. Spencer Cannon confirmed.

The officers arrested West without incident, although “he doesn’t like cops and he has a potty mouth,” Cannon said.

The Utah County Jail had not received notice of a judge’s March 3 order to hold West without bail, so West subsequently posted $2,500 bond the following day, Cannon said. At the time, he said West was being held for a separate domestic violence case.

“We didn’t find anything that showed he should be held without bail prior to that release,” Cannon said.

Courts spokesman Geoffrey Fattah said a docket shared with the jail reflects that West was ordered to remain in jail without the possibility of bail. Fattah said jailers provide the document to the court’s employees, who note any changes in a defendant’s custody status and return it to jailers as a backstop until the court minutes become available.

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“We don’t find any miscommunication,” Fattah said.

Fourth District Judge James Brady issued a $25,000 warrant for West’s arrest after he failed to appear for hearings on May 5 and May 12, court records show. The judge told attorneys May 5 he was surprised to hear the defendant was not in custody due to a communication error.

Prosecutors say West, his brother, Malachi Bay West, 21, and another man, Nathan Thomas, 20, of Nephi, attacked the missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints outside a home in Payson on Jan. 28. They are each charged with assault, a third-degree felony.

They are accused of calling the missionary the N-word and punching and kicking him in the head, saying “This is our town,” and “Go back to slavery,” charges state.

West is due back in court June 2.

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