Man, 45, pleads guilty in fatal TRAX stabbing

Published: Monday, March 5 2012 1:25 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake City man charged in connection with a stabbing that left a man dead on a TRAX platform has pleaded guilty to reduced charges.

Robert Earl Wallace, 45, was originally charged with murder, a first-degree felony, in the death of Emmett Schad, 27. But Wallace pleaded guilty to criminal homicide by assault, a third-degree felony, in 3rd District Court last week. An additional charge of obstructing justice, a second-degree felony, was dismissed in exchange for the man's plea.

Moses Geng, 34, was also charged with murder, a first-degree felony, and obstructing justice, a second-degree felony, in Schad's killing. The man's body was found sprawled on the platform and tracks of a TRAX station at EnergySolutions Arena, 340 W. South Temple, just before midnight on July 6.

According to charges filed in the case, Schad took a bottle of vodka from a woman Wallace, Geng and Schad were spending time with in Pioneer Park that same July day. 

Wallace told police he gave Geng a knife while at the park and walked with him to find Schad once they found the vodka was missing, the charges state. Once they found Schad, Wallace told police he watched the man "go down" before Geng disposed of the knife by throwing it into a Utah Power substation on 400 West.

Following an autopsy, the state medical examiner said Schad died from a stab wound to the chest, the charges state. 

A TRAX train operator found Schad's body. He told police the man was face-down with his legs in the path of the train. The train operator said he saw two men leaving the area moments before, according to court documents.

Wallace and Geng were arrested on July 28 after Salt Lake City police issued a news release asking for witnesses who may have seen the slaying to come forward.

Investigators said they were able to identify Geng based on witnesses and surveillance video from the scene.

Both Wallace and Geng — who each have the Road Home at 210 Rio Grande St. listed as their address on the charging documents — were found at Pioneer Park the night they were arrested.

According to a jail report, Wallace implicated Geng in Schad's death soon after the men were booked into jail.

Geng has a three-day jury trial scheduled to begin April 9.

Wallace will be sentenced April 20.

Emiley Morgan Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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