Category: homicide

Man who killed wife with crowbar sentenced to life in prison

SALT LAKE CITY — A man who admitted to beating his wife to death with a crowbar and nearly killing their teenaged daughter will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Walter Brantzeg hit his wife Valerie with a crowbar more than 20 times during last August’s attack inside Valerie’s Mill Creek apartment.

Valerie and Walter were separated and in a custody battle for their daughter.

The girl, who is now 14-years-old survived the attack.

Wearing a faded, yellow prison jumpsuit and with his ankles shackled, Brantzeg sat in the courtroom with his head down as family members of the victims shared how they have been impacted by the violence.

A family spokesperson read a statement written by the daughter who Brantzeg admitted he tried to kill.

“I was the one who wanted to stay with mom. It was my choice, not hers. So, you should have taken my life, not my mom’s,” the spokesperson read. “You took my life and breath which was my mom. I hate the things you did to me. I wish you had never done the things you did to me when you had a life. Do you remember the time you said you were trying to be a good father? You actually sucked, really bad. You were the worst.”

Before the sentence was delivered, Brantzeg offered an apology to the victims and their loved ones.

“I will not go a day in my life without thinking about it. I love my kids,” he said. “I was selfish. I didn’t care. I was hurtful. I did things that were just inhuman.”

Judge Adam Mow sentenced Brantzeg to life in prison without the possibility of parole for Valerie’s murder and 15 years-to-life for the attempted murder of their daughter. Brantzeg also received five years-to-life for aggravated burglary. The sentences are to run consecutively.

Outside the courtroom, members of Valerie’s family embraced. They showed signs of relief, but the verdict was far from a victory.

“What he is getting is too good for him,” said Sharon Grant, Valerie’s sister. “But, it is a finish, a closure.”

Facing the man who killed Valerie, reopened every painful wound.

“That was overwhelming,” said Jeanne Long, another sister of Valerie. “I have had nightmares over this. Last night I saw him going in with a crowbar to her apartment.”

Family members say the girl who survived the attack is healing and is expected to make a full recovery.

“She’s loving, she’s kind and everything that he is not,” said Shawn Stoddard, Valerie’s cousin.

Family members hope to rebuild their lives and heal.

This verdict helps them take a step closer to that outcome, but they know the journey to find peace is only beginning.

“Right now, I am just broken. He broke me. He broke my family,” Grant said.

“We are going to get through this, but it’s going to be hard,” Long added.

Unified Police ask for help identifying persons of interest after homicide in Kearns

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KEARNS, Utah — Unified Police are asking for help identifying three persons of interest in a homicide that occurred in Kearns Wednesday.

One person was killed and one person was seriously wounded in the shooting, which occurred inside a home near 4800 South and 4700 West.

UPD released several photos that show three people and two separate vehicles. Anyone who recognizes the individuals or vehicles is asked to contact Unified Police at 801-743-7000.

Police said the man wearing a white head covering in one photo and the man pictured running down the street in another are the same individual.

Police identified the deceased Thursday as 34-year-old John Herman Tonga.

Fox 13 News will update this story as more details emerge.

Man driving boat charged with homicide, DUI after passenger drowns at Flaming Gorge Reservoir

DAGGETT COUNTY, Utah — A man has been charged with homicide and DUI after a passenger fell from a boat and drowned at Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

According to documents filed Monday, Corey Eggleston is charged with automobile homicide as a third-degree felony and DUI as a class B misdemeanor.

The charges stem from a deadly incident at Flaming Gorge Reservoir May 11. Booking documents indicate Eggleston was driving a boat and made a sharp turn, sending all three occupants into the water.

None of the three were wearing life jackets, and one man drowned.

Eggleston and the other occupant were treated by medical responders and cleared.

Deputies said Eggleston smelled like alcohol when they interviewed him and said he admitted to them he had been drinking on the boat.

Eggleston was booked into the Uintah County Jail, as Daggett County no longer operates a jail.

Authorities investigating Price man’s death as a homicide

EMERY COUNTY, Utah — Authorities are investigating the death of a man found in Emery County last week as a homicide.

According to the Emery County Sheriff’s Office, 61-year-old William Randy Jones of Price was found dead on a cut-off road between Mohrland and Hiawatha on May 2.

“That discovery has led to a homicide investigation,” a press release from Emery County Sheriff’s Office states.

Authorities are working to identify persons of interest and conduct interviews, and they said the investigation is continuing and search warrants are being prepared.

No details regarding the cause and manner of Jones’ death have been released.

Fox 13 News will update this story as more details emerge.

 

Police: Des Moines 17-Year-Old Dies after East Side Shooting

DES MOINES, Iowa – Police say a Des Moines 17-year-old was the victim of a deadly shooting Sunday night on the city’s east side.

Officers responded to the 1700 block of E. 12th Street around 8:39 p.m. after receiving multiple calls from people who said they heard gunfire.

Just a few minutes later, police were called to Mercy Hospital after someone brought in a gunshot victim. The 17-year-old male victim died from his injuries. His name has not been released as officials work to notify his family.

Police believe the teen was shot in the 1700 block of E. 12th Street, where they initially received the reports of gunfire. They also say evidence indicates the teen was targeted.

Investigators are continuing to interview witnesses but have not released whether they have identified a suspect in the shooting.

This is the fourth homicide of 2019 in Des Moines.

Police Identify Des Moines 17-Year-Old Killed in East Side Shooting

DES MOINES, Iowa – Police say a Des Moines 17-year-old was the victim of a deadly shooting Sunday night on the city’s east side.

Donzell Martin has been identified as the victim in the shooting.

Officers responded to the 1700 block of E. 12th Street around 8:39 p.m. after receiving multiple calls from people who said they heard gunfire.

Just a few minutes later, police were called to Mercy Hospital after someone brought in Martin, who was suffering injuries from a shooting.

Police believe Martin was shot in the 1700 block of E. 12th Street, where they initially received the reports of gunfire. They also say evidence indicates he was targeted.

Investigators are continuing to interview witnesses but have not released whether they have identified a suspect in the shooting.

This is the fourth homicide of 2019 in Des Moines.