Man sentenced after pleading guilty in killing of stepfather
OGDEN, Utah (AP) — A Utah man was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison after pleading guilty but mentally ill in the killing of his stepfather in their home.
A district court judge on Thursday sentenced David Russell Erekson of Huntsville, who entered the plea to a count of felony murder in the death of 69-year-old Roger Haven, the Standard-Examiner reported .
The sentence was the mandatory minimum stipulated in Erekson’s plea agreement.
A family member said Erekson had been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
His attorney, James Retallick, said the case “reflects badly” on the mental health industry in the state. He said Erekson was evaluated by mental health professionals just days before killing Haven in their home in 2017.
The conflict began when Erekson started yelling at his mother and Haven because he thought that they took his cigarettes and his hearing aids, Weber County attorney Dean Saunders said.
Erekson’s mother called 911 shortly after he attacked Haven and began to beat him, according to Saunders. The woman tried to pull Erekson away from Haven before the call ended.
In a call minutes later, the woman said she had been punched and pushed to the ground by Erekson, and she had driven her car across a lawn and down a street before calling police again, Saunders said.
Emergency responders found Haven face down in a pool of blood, Saunders said.
The cause of death was a stab wound to the torso and blunt force trauma, said Dr. Pamela Ulmer, a forensic pathologist for the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner.
Information from: Standard-Examiner, http://www.standard.net