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Suspect in Dylan Rounds’ disappearance has violent past

Utah

Dylan Rounds

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – James Brenner was painted as a violent man who shouldn’t be released from jail.

Brenner was named a suspect by authorities for the disappearance of Dylan Rounds.

The 19-year-old disappeared in late May and has not been heard from since.

Friday, Brenner appeared in federal court on firearms violations. He pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. There was no mention of Brenner being tied to Dylan’s disappearance.

RELATED | Family, law enforcement ask public to avoid searching for Dylan Rounds near his farm

But it gave the public a glimpse of what Brenner is like.

“He was either squatting on Dylan’s property or at the property adjacent to Dylan and he had no right to be there,” said deputy U.S. attorney Carlos Esqueda.

According to Dylan’s mother, Brenner often helped her son at his farm. In fact, she said Dylan’s boots were found near where Brenner was staying on her son’s property.

“It looked like they were just tossed out there,” mother Candice Cooley said.

Brenner’s the main suspect in Dylan’s disappearance and there’s a $100,000 reward offered for his whereabouts.

But Cooley said no one’s come forward with information and claimed that speaks volumes.

“If you offer somebody $100,000 and we’ve gotten nothing,” she said.

She acknowledges that the key to solving Dylan’s disappearance is with Brenner.

“He has the answers,” she said.

RELATED | Arrest warrant issued for Dylan Rounds’ neighbor on firearms charge

During Brenner’s detention hearing, prosecutors said he is a danger to the community and should not be back out on the streets.

He currently has an outstanding warrant from Box Elder County where he allegedly beat up a man using a lawn chair. And he also served time for attempted murder.

“Oh he has a lengthy history of violence,” said Esqueda. “He had a shoot-out before. He has a history of shooting at people and despite that, he’s a convicted felon. He continues to carry firearms.”

Brenner’s attorney Tessa Hansen said the attempted murder in Maryland happened 30 years ago and the charge was dropped to malicious shooting. She said he had two gun violations over the past 30 years.

Hansen said she was unaware of the outstanding warrant in Box Elder County.

After hearing of his criminal past, Dylan’s mother was even more convinced that Brenner was more than a suspect.

“I think James did something to him,” Cooley said. “I think he snapped and especially hearing more of it in court.

Brenner was denied bail and returned to the Weber County jail. His trial was set for September. But he will return to state court Monday in Box Elder County where he is facing more gun violations.

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