Injured S.L. attorney Steve Killpack feels fortunate to be alive after stabbing

Published: Tuesday, July 17 2012 2:45 p.m. MDT

Defense attorneys Steven Killpack, left, and Loni DeLand talk to their client, Bruce Silva, during a court hearing Nov. 30, 2011, in 8th District Court in Vernal.

Geoff Liesik, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Attorney Steve Killpack recounted Tuesday how an intruder entered his home two weeks ago and stabbed him multiple times.

In a brief prepared statement, the prominent attorney also thanked those who treated his injuries and who have inquired about his well-being since the ordeal.

"I feel fortunate to be alive and to have been the recipient of so many kindnesses and so much good will," he said.

Upon awakening the morning of July 5, Killpack said he was surprised to find a man in his house whom he did not know.

"He identified himself as Matthew Wall, and he claimed to have entered my home with permission from an unidentified person. After I confirmed his claim of invited entry was untrue, he attacked me with a knife, stabbing me repeatedly and inflicting serious internal injuries," Killpack said.

"Fortunately, I was able to escape and obtain assistance from neighbors."

Killpack, 63, said he issued the statement in response to many media inquiries about the incident and his condition.

"I am out of the hospital now and recuperating slowly in the care of family. I have been too weak to respond previously," he said.

Killpack said his injuries required surgery at University Hospital. "Although the long-term prognosis for recovery is optimistic, I am still very weak, and my convalescence is expected to continue for several months."

Matthew Christopher Wall, 28, was charged in 3rd District Court last week with attempted murder and aggravated burglary, first-degree felonies. He is being held in the Salt Lake County Jail Monday on $1 million bail.

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.

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

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.

In his statement, Killpack said the outpouring of assistance and encouragement has been overwhelming and deeply appreciated. He thanked his neighbors, EMTs, the hospital trauma staff, Salt Lake police and the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office along with colleagues and court workers who have worked together to meet the demands of his private law practice.

E-mail: romboy@desnews.com

Twitter: dennisromboy

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