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A Man Gets Arrested For Tampering With A Witness Regarding A Prior Domestic Violence Incident

Posted by Travis Uresk | April 26th, 2023 | Tampering With A Witness |

By Travis Uresk


Vernal, Ut.- On 4/23/23, a Deputy with the Uintah County Sheriff’s Office met with the offender to serve him a court summons regarding a prior domestic violence incident.

Approximately three hours after Deputy Ouderkirk served the offender the court summons, he received an email regarding the offender. A victim's family member from the domestic violence incident sent a screenshot showing that the offender had sent her a message on Facebook messenger and told her, "I suggest you drop these charges before I absolutely annihilate you guys in court."

The message was followed by a long paragraph telling a different version of the domestic violence incident.

The Deputy met with the victim and the family member at their residence, where they completed a witness statement of her receiving the message. They both stated they were concerned about the message since they learned the case would proceed in court.

At his residence, Deputy Ouderkirk then met with the offender, identified as 20-year-old Austin Michael Driver. The Deputy asked him what he meant by the question he sent to the victim's family member.

Austin asked the Deputy what message, and he told him he knew exactly what message I was referring to. Austin didn't provide any detailed response, so Deputy Ouderkirk advised him of his Miranda Rights and asked him again what he meant by sending the message.

Austin replied with a lengthy story about his and the victim's relationship and how it ended. He completely avoided answering the question and only talked about how he did not see the point of the charges since he is a good person.

The message clearly displays that Austin demanded that the victim's family no longer proceed through the legal process of presenting the evidence in the original domestic violence case to the courts. Austin also offered to "annihilate" them in court as punishment for proceeding through the legal process.

Austin Driver was arrested on one count of witness tampering. Austin communicated to Deputy Ouderkirk in both messages and in person that he intended to return to Washington and no longer remain in the Uintah Basin area.

Austin Driver would constitute a substantial danger to another individual or the community or would likely flee the court's jurisdiction if released on bail.


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