2011: A tragic year for domestic violence

Published: Sunday, Jan. 1 2012 9:00 p.m. MST

1. VERNAL, Jan. 20 — Mark "Joe" Bedwell, 46, died after being stabbed three times by his roommate, William Robert Feldmiller. Feldmiller was convicted of murder and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. He told police he stabbed Bedwell after he was told during a drunken argument to move out. Motive: Anger. Method: Stabbing.

2. SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 16 — James Anderson Porter, 48, was found stabbed to death in a carport near 226 W. Orchard Place (542 South). Bennett James Pace, 53, was found nearby with blood on his hands, coat, pants and shoes. Pace, Porter and another woman were drinking together just prior to the incident. The woman told police both men attempted to rape her and then got into a fight with each other. Pace has been ordered to stand trial on charges of murder, aggravated robbery and attempted rape, all first-degree felonies. Alleged motive: Anger. Method: Stabbing.  

3. DUCHESNE, March 5 — Riylin Paige Gilley, 2 months, died at Primary Children's Medical Center as a result of fatal brain injuries. She had been at the hospital on life support since Feb. 28. The girl's mother, Samantha Lynn Gilley, entered a no-contest plea to child abuse homicide, a second-degree felony, and was sentenced to 150 days in jail and 36 months of probation, with a prison term of one to 15 years that is suspended unless Gilley fails on probation. Motive: Unknown. Method: Shaking. 

4 and 5. PROVO, March 14 — Karen Murray, 67, and Catherine Crane, 63, were both killed in a fire at the Boulders Apartments, 750 S. 650 West. Another tenant, Yvette Kimber, was charged with two counts of murder after allegedly setting the fire in a suicide attempt, but then backing out at the last minute. Alleged motive: Suicide attempt. Method: Arson.

6. LEHI, March 15 — Sarah Davis, 23, was shot and killed by her estranged husband, Stephen Brad Davis, 25, who then turned the gun on himself. The woman, who was found dead in the driver's seat of her vehicle, arrived at the home to pick up the couple's two children, ages 5 and 2. The husband was found in the passenger seat of the vehicle. Witnesses reported that he climbed into the vehicle, a brief argument ensued and then shots were fired. Later, notes were recovered showing Brad Davis intended to harm his wife. Motive: Anger, domestic. Method: Shooting.

7. PROVO, March 18 — Omar Abas Sharif, 28, was smothered to death with a pillow at the Utah State Hospital. His roommate, James Norman, 33, was reportedly upset with Sharif's snoring and police say he killed him. Norman has a history of criminal offenses, including impersonating a police officer, head butting his attorney, sexual battery and disorderly conduct. He was at the state hospital when the killing occurred because he was found incompetent to stand trial in another case. No charges have yet been filed in Sharif's death, however. Alleged motive: Anger. Method: Asphyxiation. 

8. KEARNS, March 25 — Christina "Nina" Harms, 22, died as a result of dehydration and positional asphyxia from ongoing abuse, including being bound crucifixion-style inside a closet at her home, 4978 S. 5415 West, for extended periods of time. Harms suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome. Her primary caregiver, Cassandra Shepard, 27, was charged with murder. Dale and Sherrie Beckering, who also lived in the house, were charged with intentional aggravated abuse of a disabled person. Dale Beckering, 53, was convicted of a lesser charge and acting recklessly. The other two have not yet gone to trial. Alleged motive: Improper care. Method: Dehydration asphyxiation, sedatives, confinement. 

9. SOUTH SALT LAKE, April 22 — Berenisse Torres-Vega, 23, was found dead after being attacked with a hammer inside her apartment, 3372 S. 200 East, that she shared with Cesar Bastida, 22. Investigators believe Bastida attacked Torres-Vega with a hammer and then used the hammer on himself before fatally stabbing himself with a kitchen knife. A friend of Torres-Vega said her fiance had seen her dancing with another man during a recent trip to Mexico. Motive: Unknown, possibly jealousy. Method: Blunt force with hammer.

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