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Man pleads guilty after fatally injuring wife in Salt Lake City International Airport parking lot

Photo: Salt Lake City Police Department

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, July 13, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A man pleaded guilty to reduced charges after fatally injuring his wife in a parking lot at Salt Lake International Airport on April 4 of this year.

Shawn Christopher Sturgeon, 38, pleaded guilty to:

  • Homicide/motor vehicle homicide, a second-degree felony
  • Domestic violence in the presence of a child, a third degree crime

An additional charge of manslaughter, a second-degree felony, was dropped as part of the plea deal.

The victim was Charlotte Marie Dalton-Sturgeon, 29.

Charlotte Marie Dalton-Sturgeon. Photo: Obituary

The Incident

At 2:39 p.m. on April 4, Salt Lake City police were called to the airport.

“The details were that a woman was run over by a vehicle,” Sturgeon’s probable cause statement reads. “Shawn Sturgeon, his wife Charlotte and their small child were returning to town after a vacation. The incident happened in the short-term parking lot.

“When officers arrived at the scene, they found Charlotte sitting in the front seat of a vehicle near the toll plaza. She was unresponsive but breathing. Charlotte was taken to hospital where she was later treated. declared dead.

Photo: Salt Lake City Police Department

Video surveillance obtained from the airport garage showed that prior to the crash, the statement said, Sturgeon placed the child on the right passenger side of the vehicle. Sturgeon then got into the driver’s seat, and then the vehicle’s brake lights came on.

“Charlotte appeared to be sitting in the front passenger seat and then she is seen exiting the vehicle,” Sturgeon’s probable cause statement reads. “She walked to the rear passenger side seat of the vehicle and opened the door as Sturgeon began to reverse. He accelerated sharply and then stopped the car. Charlotte lost her balance during this sudden movement. The vehicle door was still open. Within seconds, Sturgeon slammed on the gas again and backed up quickly.

“You could see Charlotte’s legs flailing as Sturgeon continued to step back. Being dragged caused Charlotte to fall to the ground under the vehicle. Sturgeon then put the vehicle into gear, accelerated forward rapidly and pushed the throttle and quickly onto Charlotte’s body with the right rear passenger tire, leaving a tire print on her body and the weight of the vehicle. causing serious bodily harm to its internal organs. .

“Sturgeon then exited the vehicle screaming and waving his arms and told Charlotte to get into the vehicle, which she did shortly before succumbing to her injuries,” Sturgeon’s probable cause statement reads. .

Officers who arrived noted that Sturgeon appeared drunk and had glassy bloodshot eyes and the smell of alcohol.

As he was transported to the Utilities Building for an interview, “Sturgeon made several off-the-cuff statements including ‘I ran my wife over’, ‘I killed my wife’ and ‘I accidentally ran her over’. .

Photo: Salt Lake City Police Department

Views of Witnesses

Witness statements also revealed that Sturgeon appeared angry with his wife.

A witness “heard screaming and arguing between a man and a woman, later identified as Charlotte and Sturgeon, before observing the vehicle above Charlotte and driving over her. The witness said he “ yelled at Sturgeon not to go anywhere as he filmed what was happening. Sturgeon ignored pleas to stay there and instead left the scene.

A second witness told investigators she was in her car getting ready to leave when she heard a loud noise. She turned around and saw a woman on the ground and saw the car go over her. The witness said he heard Charlotte scream and scream as Charlotte was on the ground.

“The driver then got out of the car and asked the woman (victim) why she had just done this. The man then said, “Now I have to take you to the emergency room,” then he aggressively picked her up and pushed her into the front passenger seat.

“The second witness explained that she saw a woman lying on the ground and then observed a vehicle drive over the body. (Witness 2) heard crying and moaning from the woman. The driver stopped abruptly, then got out of the car yelling at the woman saying, “Are you fucking crazy”, and continued yelling at the woman. The driver then said to the woman (victim): “Get up right now. Get off the ground and get in the car. The woman got up and limped towards the vehicle and the vehicle drove off.

A preliminary toxicology examination showed Sturgeon had a blood alcohol level of 0.13. In Utah, the legal limit for intoxication is 0.05.

An autopsy performed on 29-year-old Charlotte Sturgeon revealed that her death was caused by blunt trauma, the statement said, adding that “Charlotte’s pulmonary artery had been severed and her liver lacerated.”

Conviction

The felony/vehicular homicide conviction carries a maximum penalty of 1 to 15 years (with no minimum penalty) in prison and a fine of $10,000.

Domestic violence in the presence of a child carries a maximum penalty of zero to 5 years in prison with a fine of $5,000.

Thus, during his conviction, not yet planned, Sturgeon risks zero to 20 years in prison.

Photo: Salt Lake City Police Department
Deena S. Hawkins

The author Deena S. Hawkins