SALT LAKE CITY – Utah’s new lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union was charged Tuesday of shooting at a car that was carrying his children and ex-wife, according to police.
Aaron Kinikini has been tried in the 3rd District Court on two gun discharges and aggravated kidnapping, both third-degree crimes. and three incidents of domestic violence in the presence of children, a class B.
Prosecutors have moved to detain Kinikini in Salt Lake County Prison without bail.
On Tuesday, the Utah ACLU issued a brief statement simply saying, “Aaron Kinikini is no longer employed with the Utah ACLU.”
Salt Lake City police responded to a domestic violence call near Kinikini’s home on Friday. An officer making another call nearby could hear gunshots, according to the charges.
Kinikini’s ex-wife told police that she went to his house to pick up her three children, ages 13, 12 and 3, but Kinikini didn’t want her to take them, the indictment said. Kinikini stood in the driveway to keep them from retreating.
The ex-wife was able to drive back enough to drive forward and turn her car around in the driveway, the indictment said. Kinikini then ran to the front of the car and “deflated their tires,” the charges state.
“She stated that (Kinikini) then pulled a gun from a holster under his shirt, pointed it at the car and shot one round in the front tire,” the indictments read. “She kept going and he fired another lap in the rear tire.”
The ex-wife kept trying to drive away, but her tires were now flat, the prosecution said, and she had to drive by.
When police spoke to Kinikini, he admitted blocking his ex-wife’s car for five minutes and then “pretended to be injured by saying she ran over his foot”. “He admitted that he knew it was a mistake to shoot a gun at a vehicle.”
Investigators collected two 45-caliber cartridge cases near the driveway and a pistol in the house with the hammer in the cocked position and loaded with five cartridges.
Kinikini was arrested the day after the ACLU released a press release welcoming him as a new attorney.
Kinikini is a graduate of the University of Utah’s SJ Quinney College of Law and most recently served as Legal Director at the Utah Disability Law Center. He is an active member of the Utah State Bar.
The press release promotes Kinikini’s legal career and states that he has “a proven record of active and innovative civil rights litigation for clients of all ages.”
Kinikini’s Twitter account says he has five children. Kinikini’s ex-wife filed for divorce in 2014, according to court records.
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