Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Former fugitive returns to court
Utah polluter captured in Keys to be resentenced

A federal court has vacated the prison sentence of a Utah man who was shot in a 2009 standoff with federal agents who had tracked him down to a mobile home in Marathon.

Larkin Baggett, 57, will return to Key West in January to be resentenced by the same judge who sent him to federal prison for 20 years.

In March, the 11th District Court of Appeals vacated Baggett's sentence on a legal technicality, but affirmed his conviction for assault on a law enforcement officer, assault on a person assisting a law enforcement officer -- a Monroe County Sheriff's Office deputy -- and illegal possession of a firearm by a felon.

Baggett also plead guilty in 2009 to environmental crimes in Utah.

The former Salt Lake City-based chemical business owner is scheduled to be resentenced Jan. 28 at the Key West federal courthouse before U.S. District Judge Michael Moore. That resentencing previously was scheduled for Oct. 9, but rescheduled, according to court records.

Baggett is confined at the federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas.

Court records indicate Baggett should have been sentenced under a law that deals with crimes committed with firearms. It was unclear how that will affect Baggett's new sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Watts-Fitzgerald declined to comment on the case when reached Tuesday in Miami. Defense Attorney Richard Klugh of Miami did not return two phone messages left at his office.

In March 2009, three Environmental Protection Agency agents and a Monroe County Sheriff's Office deputy went to Baggett's 11th Street trailer to arrest him for not appearing in a Utah court. Baggett appeared in the doorway with a .308-caliber assault rifle.

When agents ordered him to put it down, he said, "No, take this instead," and raised the rifle to his shoulder in the firing position, according to a special agent who testified at the original sentencing hearing.

Agents opened fire with their service handguns, hitting Baggett in the jaw, hand, buttocks and stomach.

At his previous sentencing in October 2009, Baggett's former defense attorney, Nathan Clark, painted Baggett as a troubled man with no prior arrest record who made poor business decisions and later became depressed as a result of his financial situation.

Clark said Baggett tried to "commit suicide by law enforcement," but denied he intended to get into a gunbattle with authorities.

Baggett, who owned Chemical Consultants Inc. in Salt Lake City, was to appear in a Utah court in 2008 on charges of illegally treating and disposing of hazardous waste, and illegally discharging acidic chemical waste into the sewer system.

He and his employees dumped barrels of chemicals into a drain and into an alley behind his company's building. Among the chemicals were hydrofluoric acid, muriatic acid, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid and xylene and toluene, which were mixed to make detergent for washing trucks, aluminum brightener, fuel conditioner and other products.

The shooting marked the first time in the EPA's 39-year history that an agent shot a fugitive while executing a warrant, according to the agency. Baggett spent the following two months at Ryder Trauma Center in Miami, where he underwent multiple surgeries.

alinhardt@keysnews.com

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