Defendants in Blacksmith Fork viral video case make first court appearance
LOGAN, Utah — There were no signs of hostility in the courtroom Monday when five people made their first appearances on rioting charges in connection with a widely publicized Memorial Day confrontation in Utah’s Blacksmith Fork Canyon.
Wyatt Pack and co-defendants Samara Nielsen, Braxton Haderlie, Cory Durney and Rikki Durney are all represented by attorney John Webster, who entered a plea of not guilty for each of them.
A Sept. 18 court hearing has been scheduled, allowing Webster additional time to determine if the parties will work toward a plea deal or schedule a preliminary hearing.
The incident took place Sunday, May 27, when Jose Caballero and his family traveled to the Left Hand Fork area for a holiday camping trip, but their truck broke down before they got to their intended campsite.
According the the Cache County Sheriff’s Office, they did not have cellphone service in the area, so another camper going back to the valley agreed to send a text message to a friend for help, while Caballero and his son worked to get the truck and trailer off the road.
The Durneys and a 17-year-old juvenile were allegedly first to arrive and berate the Caballero family. Pack and the remaining defendants allegedly arrived 15 to 20 minutes later and amped up the assault on the family, part of which was captured on video and posted to YouTube.
Three of the individuals were reportedly armed and made Caballero fear for his family’s safety, although he maintained his composure throughout the entire ordeal.
During that time, Pack is seen on video screaming insults and profanity at the man and threatening to burn the truck and camper to the ground.
Cory Durney of Tremonton, 42, was charged with rioting and aggravated assault, both third-degree felonies, and criminal mischief and causing damage with intent to defraud, a class A misdemeanor.
Rikki Durney of Tremonton, 39, was charged with rioting, a third-degree felony.
Samara Nielsen of Harrisville, 20, and Braxton Haderlie of North Ogden, 22, were both charged with rioting, a third-degree felony, and threatening or using a deadly weapon in a fight, a class A misdemeanor.