Officer Killed After Pulling Over Driver Accused Of Holding Woman Hostage In Truck

An Indiana man accused of holding a woman hostage was charged on Tuesday with the death of a Utah police officer who pulled him over during a traffic stop, Utah County District Attorney Jeff Gray announced.

Michael Aaron Jayne, 42, is facing charges including aggravated kidnapping and aggravated murder in connection with the killing of Santaquin Police Sgt. Bill Hooser on May 5.

Speaking at a press conference, Spanish Fork Police Lieutenant Cory Slaymaker said that authorities responded to a report of someone riding on the back of a semi trailer driving on a highway in Utah.

Sergeant Bill Hooser via Santaquin City Police Deparment
Sergeant Bill Hooser via Santaquin City Police Deparment Santaquin City Police Deparment

According to a probable cause statement obtained by HuffPost, after Hooser and a state highway trooper pulled the truck over, a woman “escaped” from the vehicle and ran to the officers. The unidentified woman spoke to Hooser and told him “she was afraid” that Jayne would hurt her.

When later questioned, the woman said she initially got into Jayne’s vehicle voluntarily, but refused to accompany him further after they got into an argument at a truck stop, according to the probable cause. Jayne then threatened her “with bear spray and a knife,” the document said.

Hooser gestured to the state trooper that he wanted to detain Jayne, according to the probable cause document. Jayne immediately fled and made a sharp U-turn before hitting Hooser and his car.

Hooser was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Slaymaker.

Jayne fled the scene on foot and allegedly stole two more vehicles before taking shelter in an empty home near Mt. Pleasant, according to the document. He was eventually located and captured by authorities.

According to Gray’s announcement, Jayne could face the death penalty if convicted of his most serious charge of aggravated murder. It’s unclear whether the suspect has an attorney.

One of the sergeant’s daughters, Courtney Hooser, tearfully spoke at his funeral, lamenting that her upcoming wedding would take place without him.

“I am completely broken,” she said. “My dad no longer gets to walk me down the aisle, or share the daddy-daughter dance at my wedding. I will never understand why this happened, nor will I stop mourning the loss of my father.”