Cache County Attorney says Hyrum man was killed in self-defense

Deputies setting up a crime scene near 84 North 600 East in Hyrum. 

<span style=”font-size: 12px;”>LOGAN — Charges will not be filed against a 40-year-old Provo man who shot and killed a Hyrum man in October.</span>

Cache County Attorney James Swink said Aaron Smith acted in self-defense when he used deadly force, shooting 37-year-old Robert Van Hemert.

Evidence gathered by the Cache County Sheriff’s office, Weber Crime Scene Investigators and the State Medical Examiner’s Office found that Smith believed Van Hemert was going to kill or seriously injure himself or others before being shot.

Swink said Van Hemert was at his home, located at 84 N. 600 E. on the afternoon of October 14. He was with a neighbor, seated in the family room when Van Hemert’s wife and Smith, Van Hemert’s brother-in-law came over.

The family had been having marital problems and there had reportedly had frequent arguments in their home.

Swink said after Smith and Van Hemert’s wife returned home, an argument over money started and Van Hemert began belittling his wife. When Smith tried to defend her, Van Hemert told him to leave.

After Smith refused, Van Hemert left the room in anger, went into an adjacent bedroom and returned carrying a Ruger 9mm handgun in his right hand.

Swink said Smith then drew his own firearm and fired five shots, striking Van Hemert three times. One bullet hit his left lower jaw, one entered the left side of his head and one hit struck right chest.

Smith then reportedly called 911 and informed dispatch operators that Van Hemert had pulled a gun on him and that he had acted in self-defense.

Van Hemert’s body was found in the home, still holding the handgun. He was pronounced dead by the first deputies and troopers to report on the scene.

Swink said the attorney’s office concluded that Smith acted in self-defense and was legally justified under section 76-2-402(1)(b) of Utah State Code.

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