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

FILE - A Montana man was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the Capitol riot. (AP P...
The Associated Press

Montana man gets 3 years in prison for role in Capitol riot

A Montana man will spend three years in federal prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S Capitol.
2 days ago
Police in Roy are trying to determine how a vehicle crashed into an unoccupied building Friday afte...
Mark Jones

Vehicle collides with unoccupied building in Roy, no injuries

Roy Police are trying to determine how a vehicle crashed into an unoccupied building Friday afternoon. The driver was arrested after fleeing the scene.
2 days ago
Debbie, left, and Chet Barnett place flowers at a memorial outside of the Chesapeake, Va., Walmart ...
The Associated Press

Walmart shooter left ‘death note,’ bought gun day of killing

According to authorities in Virginia, the Walmart shooter bought his gun just hours prior to killing six employees.
2 days ago
Clearfield Police are investigating the deaths of two people, who were found in their home on Wedne...
Mark Jones

Clearfield Police identify victims in Wednesday’s double homicide

On Friday, the Clearfield Police Department released the identities of the victims from Wednesday's double homicide. Police their grandson has been arrested in connection to their deaths.
2 days ago
On Nov. 24, 2022, a man crashed into the drive-through window of a Taco Bell located in Ogden. No i...
Waverly Golden

Man crashes into Ogden Taco Bell drive-thru window

On Nov. 24, 2022, a man crashed into the drive-thru window of a Taco Bell located in Ogden. No injuries were reported.
2 days ago
MIAMI, FL - JUNE 04: Boxer Azea Augustama attends NUVOtv's "Knockout" Live Fight Press Conference a...
Leyla Santiago and Denise Royal, CNN

Former Olympic boxer arrested in South Florida for threatening mass shooting

A former Olympic boxer from North Miami has been arrested and accused of threatening to shoot up a gym in South Florida, according to an arrest affidavit.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
Man booked for automobile homicide after reportedly running over his wife at Salt Lake International Airport