Florida Keys News
Monday, July 6, 2009
EPA fugitive who shot at officers expected to change plea

A Utah fugitive critically injured March 10 during a shoot-out with law enforcement officers in a Marathon trailer park is expected to avoid a trial by pleading guilty today.

Larkin Baggett, 54, formerly of Salt Lake City, was shot in the neck and buttocks after he allegedly pointed an assault rifle at a Monroe County Sheriff's Office deputy and three U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agents.

Baggett was the first man shot by EPA officers in that organization's history.

A change of plea hearing is scheduled today in the courtroom of U.S. Judge Michael Moore at the federal courthouse in Key West.

"Such a hearing usually indicates that a defendant has expressed to the court an intent to plead guilty," said Alicia Valle, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office. "However, a defendant can always change his or her mind and proceed to trial."

Valle declined to discuss whether a plea agreement was negotiated with Baggett.

Baggett faces three charges of assault on a federal officer, assault on a person assisting a federal officer and illegal possession of firearms by a felon.

Prosecutors are moving to permanently keep the weapons seized from Baggett's trailer, which included two AR-15 assault rifles, a .308-caliber assault rifle and a pistol that shoots .223 cartridges. It's unclear whether prosecutors also want to seize his property, boat and vehicle.

Baggett was wanted on an EPA warrant for not appearing in court in 2008 on charges of illegally treating and disposing of hazardous waste in Salt Lake City, and illegally discharging acidic chemical waste into the sewer system.

alinhardt@keysnews.com

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