Man accused of knife attack retracts guilty plea after learning he won't get a rider - East Idaho News
Crime Watch

Man accused of knife attack retracts guilty plea after learning he won’t get a rider

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POCATELLO — A Pocatello man accused of cutting another man’s face in 2022 requested a trial Monday morning after he was informed the judge would not sentence him to a rider, as recommended in a pre-sentence investigation.

Burke Ryan Bailey, 47, previously pleaded guilty to one felony count of aggravated battery as part of a plea deal. In exchange, the Bannock County Prosecutor’s Office requested and was granted the dismissal of a deadly weapon enhancement.

As part of a pre-sentence investigation (PSI), Bailey was assessed for, among other things, his risk to the public. That PSI recommended Bailey for a rider.

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During Monday’s hearing, District Judge Javier Gabiola refused to be bound to that recommended sentence, informing Bailey that he was free to retract his guilty plea and request a jury trial. Asked by his defense attorney, Zachary McArthur, if he would like to retract his plea, Bailey responded, “Yes, definitely.”

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Before the guilty plea was retracted, Gabiola told Bailey he was welcome to accept the sentence Gabiola was prepared to issue, knowing that the sentence could be harsher than what was recommended.

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Bailey was arrested and charged in 2022 after Pocatello police officers responded to reports of a knife attack in a grocery store parking lot.

Officers spoke with the victim, who said he and another person were inside his truck in the parking lot when they were approached by Bailey. The victim and witness told officers Bailey yelled at them before walking away while mumbling something.

When the victim approached Bailey to confront him about the comments he made, Bailey turned around with a knife, according to police reports. The victim and witness told officers Bailey, “Take that f***er,” and sliced the man’s face.

Police reports describe the wound as being 8 inches long and near the victim’s eye.

Because he has retracted his guilty plea, Bailey has been scheduled for a jury trial on May 21. A pre-trial conference, where attorneys from both sides will be allowed to resolve any issues in preparation for the trial, has been set for May 6.

Though Bailey has been charged with this crime, it does not necessarily mean he committed it. Everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.