A former Grand County sheriff’s deputy has pleaded guilty to assault for beating and pistol-whipping his father and assaulting a police officer – attacks that occurred after the deputy allegedly caught his wife and father in bed together on the evening of July 11.
Timothy “T.J.” Brewer, 33, was charged with class A misdemeanor counts of assault and assault against a police officer. He entered guilty pleas to both charges on Tuesday, Aug. 6, during his initial appearance in 7th District Court in Moab.
Brewer apologized in court for responding to the situation with violence.
“I do apologize for my actions that night,” he told the judge. “I take full responsibility for them. I’m not a violent person ... I wasn’t before and I’m not now.”
According to a Moab City Police report released Aug. 2, T.J. Brewer assaulted his wife, Logan Brewer, and his father, former Moab fire chief Wesley Corky Brewer, after he caught the two having sex in the bedroom of one of T.J. and Logan Brewer’s children on July 11.
T.J. Brewer resigned from the sheriff’s office shortly after the incident. Corky Brewer resigned as fire chief last week, according to William “Izzy” Nelson, chairman of the Moab Valley Fire Protection Commission.
Logan Brewer told police that T.J. Brewer backhanded her and beat up his father “really bad,” then left the room and got a pistol, according to the police report. She said she heard T.J. Brewer “rack a round” in the handgun, then he pointed the gun at her, but ultimately used it to pistol-whip his father. Logan Brewer told investigators that all three had been drinking that evening after she and T.J. Brewer hosted Corky Brewer for dinner at their home.
According to the report, Corky Brewer then went to his home, told his wife what had happened and was apparently “looking for a firearm,” which his wife locked away from him. His wife came back inside the home and found Corky Brewer had stabbed himself with a butcher knife, according to the police report. He was taken to Moab Regional Hospital for treatment of the stab wound and the injuries from the assault, according to investigators. Corky Brewer also had a broken rib and a collapsed lung.
According to the police report, Moab police were first called to the emergency room of the hospital where Corky Brewer was being treated. There, officers found T.J. Brewer arguing in the parking lot with his uncle, Curt Brewer. T.J. Brewer allegedly told the officers to go away and leave him alone and threatened to beat them up, according to the police report. Eventually, he began to calm down and told investigators that he caught his wife cheating on him with his father. According to the report, Brewer admitted that he became very angry and assaulted his father. Investigators wrote that Brewer said several times that he wanted to get a gun and “finish the job.”
The officers accompanied T.J. Brewer from the hospital to his home, because he wanted to check on his children, but it was discovered that Logan Brewer had taken the children and left the home. Investigators refused to allow T.J. Brewer to enter the home and he became angry, according to the report. Investigators said T.J. Brewer later tried to walk back to the hospital, but when Moab Police Officer Steve Wiseman tried to stop him, Brewer ran at the officer and struck him with his shoulder.
Wiseman wrote in his report that Brewer also hit him with both hands, resulting in a broken molar, according to the full police report released last week.
Brewer was booked July 12 into the San Juan County Jail and released two days later on a court order. He was not required to post bail. He was originally investigated on possible felony charges that included attempted murder and felony aggravated assault.
The Moab City Police Department turned the investigation over to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office because of a conflict of interest. The Utah Attorney General’s Office prosecuted the criminal case.
During Brewer’s sentencing on Aug. 6, 7th District Judge Lyle Anderson suspended a potential two-year jail term and sentenced Brewer to 24 months probation and $826 in fines. At the request of prosecutors and Brewer’s attorney, the judge also lifted a no-contact order between Brewer and his wife and father.
“I understand why you would have been very angry on the night of your criminal conduct,” Anderson said during Brewer’s sentencing. “You understand that you can’t accomplish anything with violence.”
Brewer’s attorney, Tara Isaacson, told the court that her client is trying to piece his life back together.
“These assaults and these issues took place in the context of a very painful experience for my client,” she said, adding that she has received “dozens and dozens” of letters from people who said their lives have been touched by Brewer.
“This incident has just turned his life upside down,” Isaacson said in court.
Utah Assistant Attorney General Scott Reed said after the hearing that he believed the misdemeanor charges “accurately reflect what [T.J. Brewer did.”
He said investigators were still learning the full facts of the case when Brewer was initially booked on the possible felony charges.
They also wanted to keep him in jail, given the volatility of the situation with his family.
"There were concerns for safety issues," Reed said, adding that he took over as prosecutor for the case on the evening of the incident.
“I advised them to file probable cause based on what they had. The charges they chose to book him on were based on initial information the night of the incident,” Reed said. “As the investigation moved forward it became clear that the injuries to the victims were not serious. I believe the charges filed in this case reflect what he actually did. I don’t think it’s a sweetheart deal. I don’t think he’s getting any special treatment.”
Reed said he believes the case “worked out the best that it probably could” given the circumstances. He said the victims and other members of the family fully supported the outcome of the case.
“It’s a tragic situation,” Reed said. “We’re trying to look forward on this and see that [T.J. Brewer] can move on, with some pretty significant personal challenges.”
Isaacson said she believes T.J. Brewer can now move forward with his life.
“It was in everyone’s best interest to try to get [the case] resolved,” she said. “This will hopefully put him in the position of being able to put his life back together.”