A ranch hand who hit a 64-year-old man in the face with a rifle, and who pointed and cocked the gun at another 73-year-old man after confronting the pair for allegedly trespassing, was sentenced to a total of 14 years in state prison.
John David Frazier, 37, was sentenced Aug. 26 by Judge Thomas Fink of Santa Cruz County Superior Court after he pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, both Class 3 felonies. The judge gave him seven years and no credit for time served on both convictions, and ordered that the sentences be served consecutively.
Fink also ordered that the time be served consecutive to a one-year prison sentence that Frazier is currently serving for a drug-related offense in Maricopa County, and which is set to expire in December.
What’s more, Frazier was ordered to pay $10,130 in restitution in the Santa Cruz County case to cover his victims’ medical expenses and lost wages.
According to Frazier’s pre-sentence report, Santa Cruz County sheriff’s deputies were called to an area near Amado on July 22, 2018. There, they met with three men who said they had been riding UTVs on Forest Service roads when they drove past a house and opened a gate to get into another area.
One of the men said he stayed behind to close the gate, and when he caught up, he saw a blue truck parked across the road in front of his father’s UTV. A man was standing outside the truck, holding a lever-action rifle and yelling at his father.
The witness said the armed man, later identified as Frazier, called the group “(expletive) Mexicans” among other insults, insisted they were on private property and told them to leave. The man said he told Frazier that there were no signs indicating that the road was private property.
When the man’s father moved his UTV toward Frazier, he swung his rifle at him and hit him in the face with the barrel of the gun, opening a wound that was described in court documents as a “deep laceration” with “major bleeding.”
When the other two men got off their UTVs and confronted Frazier, he pointed the rifle at one of them and cocked it, ejecting a round from the gun. He reportedly pointed it at the other man as well, before driving away.
Sheriff’s deputies, aided by Border Patrol agents, could not immediately locate Frazier. But they did reach the owner of the nearby ranch where he worked, who identified Frazier and said he was no longer welcome at the ranch.
An arrest warrant was issued, but Frazier managed to avoid apprehension on the charges until April 26.
In a written statement provided to a probation officer prior to sentencing, Frazier admitted that what he did was wrong, but insisted he acted out of fear and in an effort to defend himself.