Charges filed in stabbing of S.L. attorney

Published: Monday, July 9 2012 2:39 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Attorney Steven Killpack was stabbed in the head and neck, possibly during a home invasion robbery, according to the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office.

The man arrested in the stabbing, Matthew Christopher Wall, 28, was charged in 3rd District Court Monday with attempted murder and aggravated burglary, first-degree felonies.

Killpack told police he woke up in his home, 1212 E. 200 South, about 6:30 a.m. on July 5 to find "an uninvited male intruder in his home office who was disconnecting wires from Killpack’s computer," according to charging documents.

Killpack also noticed several pictures had been removed from the walls and from their frames.

He asked Wall what he was doing in his home.

"The intruder spoke to Killpack and provided Killpack with his personal contact information, including information about how to contact his family and his attorney. As Killpack was attempting to verify this information, the intruder attacked Killpack, first stabbing him in the stomach, and then in the head and neck," the charges state.

After being stabbed multiple times, Killpack was able to push Wall away. Killpack ran to his neighbor's house to seek help, leaving a trail of blood behind him. His neighbors said he was so covered with blood that they didn't recognize him at first.

Responding officers "observed multiple stab and slash wounds to Killpack’s head, face and body," according to charging documents. Killpack was transported to University Hospital in critical condition. He remained hospitalized Monday in good condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Investigators also found "large amounts of blood on the floor and walls of the kitchen," in Killpack's house. They found two knives in the sink, a large carving knife and a lock-blade style knife. 

Police found Wall walking nearby and picked him up for questioning. He was covered in blood, the charges state. He told detectives he had entered Killpack's house during the early morning hours and slept there.

When he awoke, he claimed the "old man" was mad at him for messing with his paintings.

If convicted, Wall could be sentenced to up to life in prison. He was being held in the Salt Lake County Jail Monday on $1 million bail.

Wall was convicted in 2003 of forgery and theft by receiving stolen property, retail theft in 2011 as well as attempted burglary and theft by receiving stolen property in a separate case, according to state court records. He was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia last month.

Killpack worked with the Utah County Public Defenders Association before helping establish the Federal Public Defenders Office. He also assisted in defending Brian David Mitchell, who was convicted of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart. Killpack has also worked on many other high-profile cases, including the Ron Lafferty case.

Wall was also charged Monday with and two counts of possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a third-degree felony.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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