Man who attacked women in Boise Towne Square parking lot sentenced

Kristin Rodine: 377-6447December 31, 2013 

Greggory Macho

Greggory Macho, 31, will spend at least 15 years in prison for assaulting a young woman in the Boise Towne Square parking lot, driving his truck over the witness who tried to intervene, then trying to disguise his vehicle to evade capture.

He declined to make any comment Tuesday before 4th District Judge Patrick Owen handed down the sentence — 30 years in prison, with eligibility for parole after 15 years. Previously, he told Owen he was under the influence of alcohol and drugs and doesn’t remember the events of that May evening.

But Angela Smoot vividly remembers that day, and her long, emotion-wracked victim impact statement dominated the sentencing hearing.

“Mr. Macho has no idea how much anguish, difficulty and heartache he has caused,” said Smoot, who suffered two broken legs, nerve damage and head injuries when Macho’s pickup truck veered into her May 14, knocking her down and driving over her while her young sons watched. “I wake up every morning to the damage that he did, both physically and mentally.”

After the hearing, Smoot said she has “mixed feelings” about the sentence and declined further comment. She had urged the judge to levy the maximum sentence, with no chance for parole, for each of the four felony charges against Macho: aggravated assault, aggravated battery, an enhancement on the battery charge for use of a deadly weapon, and destruction of evidence. Those sentences, served consecutively, would add up to 40 years.

The other victim — a 22-year-old woman who was forced into her car, kissed and groped before Smoot approached — did not speak in court but attended the sentencing hearing to lend support to Smoot, Deputy Ada County Prosecutor Cathy Guzman said.

Smoot had taken her two young sons to the mall that May evening, and as they walked across the parking lot they saw a pickup truck come to a quick stop, blocking a parked car with a woman standing beside it, she said. A man jumped out of the truck, grabbed the woman by her shoulders and pushed her and himself into the car. At first she thought the man and woman knew each other and the situation was OK. But it didn’t feel right, Smoot said, and then her son said, “I think that girl’s crying.”

Smoot went to investigate.

“I told my kids to stay in the car,” she said. “My son said, ‘Mom, please don’t go. It’s not safe.’ But I went anyway.”

As Smoot approached, she saw the woman was red-faced, crying and screaming. Smoot yelled at the man to stop, she said, and he got back into his truck.

She was looking down at her cell phone, aiming to report the incident, when the truck swerved into her. She was knocked out of her shoes, her head slammed against the pavement and “I watched his tire run over my body.”

Several witnesses reported the truck’s driver intentionally mowed the woman down.

“This is the part I can’t understand,” Owen told Macho, noting that “You had a clear way to get out of that parking lot without damaging anybody more than you had already done.”

Macho was on probation for grand theft at the time of mall attacks, but he has no previous record of violent or substance-abuse crimes. Owen said he’d received numerous letters from Macho’s friends and family, all describing a good man for whom such actions were an aberration.

“It’s not the person they knew,” Owen told Macho. “But it’s you.”

Defense attorney Michael Lojek asked for a sentence of five to 30 years, giving Macho a better chance of resuming a productive life and getting help for substance abuse and other issues.

He noted that the pre-sentence psychological evaluation found Macho was amenable to treatment and said his client is “committed to ensuring that these circumstances do not reoccur.”

But Guzman said the psychological profile shows Macho resists authority and is self-centered and prone to blame others. He has “an above average inclination to hit someone or break things, and he feels he has no need for mental health treatment.”

“I don’t know what makes this man tick, but he’s shown he can’t be allowed loose in the community,” Guzman said. She stressed the traumatic impact on Smoot’s family, the victim Smoot tried to help, witnesses and community members who felt profound fear until Macho was identified and charged three weeks after the highly publicized attacks.

Macho’s truck was captured on surveillance video. Macho, who worked at an automotive body shop, enlisted his wife and brother to help him paint and otherwise alter the truck so it would no longer match the description, Guzman said.

Macho’s wife, Jessica Brynn, pleaded guilty in December to felony evidence destruction, alteration or concealment. She will be sentenced Feb. 5. His brother, Richard Macho, faces the same charge but prosecutors have agreed to dismiss it as part of a plea deal in an unrelated child pornography case. He has sentencing and review hearings set for early February.

Greggory Macho agreed to plead guilty in October in exchange for prosecutors dropping a kidnapping charge against him. He entered an Alford plea, in which a defendant does not admit the crimes but acknowledges a jury would likely find him guilty.

Macho faced straight ahead Tuesday, shifting slightly in his chair, as Smoot recounted her horrific injuries.

“He broke my femur in half, fractured my (other leg) and confined me to a wheelchair,” said Smoot, who now can walk with difficulty and continues physical therapy. “I believe his intent was to kill me.”

“I know I am lucky,” she said in court Tuesday. “I am able to be alive. But just because I survived it doesn’t lessen the severity of what he did.”

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