CRIME

Man booked for automobile homicide after reportedly running over his wife at Salt Lake International Airport

Apr 5, 2022, 7:28 PM | Updated: Apr 6, 2022, 9:36 am
(Investigators sealing off a portion of the parking garage at Salt Lake International Airport, Apri...
(Investigators sealing off a portion of the parking garage at Salt Lake International Airport, April 4, 2022. Pool photo)
(Investigators sealing off a portion of the parking garage at Salt Lake International Airport, April 4, 2022. Pool photo)

SALT LAKE CITY — More details are being released about a bizarre auto-pedestrian crash at Salt Lake International Airport that killed a woman and landed her husband in jail.  Some legal analysts say this case may be more complex than it may appear on paper.

Accident at Salt Lake City International Airport

The probable cause statement says officers were hit with a strong smell of alcohol on Shawn Sturgeon and from his car when they stopped him at the tollbooth by the parking garage at the airport.  Investigators say Sturgeon had glassy, bloodshot eyes and smelled like alcohol even after he was taken to the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building.  Former prosecutor Kent Morgan, who is not connected to this case, says that’s enough to book Sturgeon for automobile homicide, negligence DUI of alcohol or drugs.

Morgan said, “Criminal negligence always occurs whenever somebody is under the influence of alcohol.”

The PC statement says Sturgeon was there to pick up his wife and young coming home from a short vacation.  He reportedly put the child in the back seat then got into the driver’s seat. And backed up the car while his wife was still standing by an open rear door.  They say she was dragged a short distance, then fell to the ground.  Investigators say Sturgeon then drove forward 10 inches, running over his wife.

Different interpretation

Morgan says what happened next adds a wrinkle to the case.  The PC statement says Sturgeon picked up his wife and put her in the passenger’s seat. He then drove to the tollbooth.  Morgan says a good defense attorney would argue Sturgeon was trying to get his wife to safety. But a good prosecutor would have a completely different interpretation of what happened.

“A good prosecutor is going to say he engaged in concealing the crime that he has committed of intentionally running somebody over,” Morgan said.  “I think this case is very complex.”

Morgan believes it’s possible prosecutors could charge Sturgeon with second degree felony manslaughter instead of third-degree automobile homicide. However, they would have to prove Sturgeon knowingly engaged in reckless behavior.  According to the PC statement, Sturgeon said he accidentally ran over his wife while he was being taken into custody.

He said, “Is there any indication, otherwise in this case, that the individual was engaging in intentionally trying to hurt the other person?”

According to Morgan, prosecutors will likely look through the couple’s history to find any sign if this crash was pre-meditated. However, it might not have been.

Read more:

Today’s Top Stories

Crime

...
Mark Jones

Suspect taken into custody after firing shots in Kearns

A shelter in place was issued Wednesday evening in Kearns after an 18-year-old male fired a weapon at a family member fled the scene through a residential area.
1 day ago
Lina Reyes Geddes, of Youngstown, Ohio, has been identified as the victim in a 1998 homicide cold c...
Mark Jones

Garfield County cold case homicide is brought to a close

Authorities in Utah and Ohio announced Wednesday the closure of a Garfield County cold case that dates back to April 20, 1998.
1 day ago
Provo Police need help to identify and locate a suspect in a 2020 cold case shooting that happened ...
Devin Oldroyd

Provo Police Department asking for help solving a 2020 cold case

Provo Police need help to identify and locate a suspect in a 2020 cold case shooting that happened at the Missionary Training Center.
7 days ago
salt lake mayorMendenhall guns...
Curt Gresseth

After NY law is struck down, two Utah experts sound off on gun rights

Two advocates on either side of the gun-control vs. gun rights debate sound off on the Supreme Court's 6-3 ruling to expand the right to carry a firearm in public.
7 days ago
A men’s maximum-security unit in the new Utah State Correctional Facility in Salt Lake City is pi...
Lindsay Aerts

State leaders cut the ribbon on new Utah State Correctional Facility

After five years of construction, a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Utah State Correctional Facility, located west of the Salt Lake City International Airport, was held Wednesday.
8 days ago
Salt Lake City Police are looking into a pair of armed bank robberies Tuesday night in the Salt Lak...
Mark Jones

Update: SLC armed robbery suspect taken into custody

Salt Lake City police are searching for Tanner Cram, age 27, a suspect behind a pair of alleged armed bank robberies Monday evening.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Man booked for automobile homicide after reportedly running over his wife at Salt Lake International Airport