Driver was on meth, paranoid and violent before killing Santaquin officer, girlfriend says (2024)

SANTAQUIN — The woman who was with Michael Aaron Jayne shortly before he allegedly hit and killed a Santaquin police sergeant with his semitruck says Jayne was using meth and acting paranoid prior to being pulled over, according to court documents.

Jayne, 42, of Garrett, Indiana, is charged with aggravated murder, a capital offense, in the death of Santaquin Police Sgt. Bill Hooser, as well as several other crimes including aggravated kidnapping for allegedly taking the woman against her will. If convicted on the aggravated murder charge, he could receive the death penalty.

Hooser was killed on May 5 after he and a Utah Highway Patrol trooper had pulled over the semitruck that Jayne was driving. A series of recently unsealed search warrant affidavits provide glimpses into what happened prior to the fatal confrontation as well as during the search for Jayne, who was arrested hours later after leading police in Vernal on a brief chase that ended with Jayne crashing.

The woman who police say was in the cab with Jayne, had agreed to accompany him during his latest trucking job.

"Michael arranged for the female to fly out of Idaho to meet him in Arizona for a truck hauling job he was on. The female reported they made their way to California and then through Las Vegas where they did truck repairs on the morning of Saturday, May 4," one affidavit states.

But at some point between Las Vegas and Beaver, the woman said they "ingested methamphetamine at an unknown truck stop."

"After Jayne used meth, the girlfriend stated Jayne got really paranoid and started to become violent," according to another affidavit.

At the Flying J in Beaver, Jayne told the woman to get out of the truck, which she did and she took her luggage with her. Jayne left, but returned multiple times to try and convince the woman to go back into the truck with him.

"Michael took the female's phone and bags, but she continued refusing to get back in his truck because she did not feel safe," the warrant states.

Jayne eventually sat across from her at a table in the lobby with "bear spray in one hand and a knife in the other, threatening her to get back in the truck. The female did not believe Michael would use the bear spray in public and hid her face. Michael came to the same side of the bench … and placed the blade of the knife over her clothes into the area of her kidneys," according to the affidavit.

Driver was on meth, paranoid and violent before killing Santaquin officer, girlfriend says (1)

At that point, she got back into the truck with him. But not long after, "Michael jumped out of bed and began yelling about Hells Angel gang members being after him and needing to call the police," the woman told investigators. "Michael began erratically driving, causing the female to severely fear for her life. The female stated she was bouncing around in the bed area of the truck while Michael put his seat belt on and began speaking with 911 dispatchers. The female stated Michael acted aggressive and violent toward her and that he thought she was a Hells Angel gang member."

It was just before 6 a.m. on May 5 when Jayne called 911 claiming that someone was riding on the back of the semitruck he was driving and "that the Hells Angels were targeting the driver of the truck," according to charging documents.

The woman later claimed to police that Jayne's "erratic driving was so bad she was certain they were going to get into an accident and she would be thrown from the semi or mangled." The woman found a paper and wrote her name on it with the words, "HELP ME" and, "Michael Jayne took me." She also "grabbed a glow-in-the-dark dog collar to help rescue crews locate her along with the notes to identify her," the affidavit says.

Just a short time later, the semi was pulled over by Hooser and UHP trooper Dustin Griffiths. As Hooser was talking to Jayne, the woman jumped out of the sleeper area of the semitruck and ran toward the officers "with her hands up, screaming that Michael was going to hurt her," according to the affidavit.

As Hooser and Griffiths were preparing to take Jayne into custody, he began to drive away. But just a short time later, he made a sharp U-turn and drove directly at the two officers and the woman, charging documents state.

"The truck's grill and bumper struck Sgt. Hooser in the back, smashing him into the front of trooper Griffiths' patrol car and killing Sgt. Hooser," the charges say.

Driver was on meth, paranoid and violent before killing Santaquin officer, girlfriend says (2)

After hitting Hooser, Jayne ran to a nearby gas station and stole another semi, according to investigators, and drove it south to near Mona, Juab County, then abandoned it. Jayne stole another vehicle with the keys left inside, drove south into Nephi and then to Mt. Pleasant, Sanpete County, according to an arrest report, where he stole another vehicle.

Jayne is also suspected of stealing a gun from the Mt. Pleasant home where he took a 2012 Ford F-150, and "used the truck as a battering ram to back out of the garage without opening the garage door," one warrant states.

Troopers later that morning located Jayne 170 miles away near Vernal. He tried to flee at over 100 mph but the chase ended when an officer conducted a PIT maneuver on Jayne's vehicle. Another affidavit indicates Jayne had to be extricated from his crashed vehicle. He was treated at a local hospital before being taken to University Hospital in Salt Lake City. Jayne was moved to the Utah County Jail on May 12. During his initial court appearance, Jayne was still visibly recovering from his injuries.

Driver was on meth, paranoid and violent before killing Santaquin officer, girlfriend says (2024)


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