Man admits shooting neighbor he thought was 'telepathically' threatening him

Published: Monday, Jan. 14 2013 5:38 p.m. MST

Michael Selleneit, 54, of Centerville, pleaded guilty to shooting his neighbor multiple times. Police say Selleneit shot the man because he believed he was telepathically raping Selleneit's wife.

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FARMINGTON — A Centerville man who shot his neighbor because he believed the man was "telepathically" raping his wife, has pleaded guilty to the charges against him.

Michael L. Selleneit, 54, pleaded guilty last week to attempted murder, a first-degree felony, and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a second-degree felony, in the Oct. 30, 2011 incident. Police say Selleneit took a handgun that he kept under his pillow, walked over to his neighbor's trailer and shot Tony Pierce, 41, multiple times as the man was working in his yard.

When Selleneit was arrested, he told police he shot Pierce in self-defense and intended to kill him, claiming Pierce had been "telepathically threatening he and his wife" and had telepathically raped his wife. Apparently, it was a claim that Selleneit had been making for years.

Pierce was hospitalized and eventually recovered from his injuries.

After questions about Selleneit's competency, 2nd District Judge Thomas Kay determined in September he was competent enough for the case to move forward. Sentencing is set for March 28.

Selleneit's wife, Meloney Toone Selleneit, was also charged in connection with the shooting. She faces charges of criminal solicitation, a first-degree felony, and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a second-degree felony, for buying the gun used by her husband and telling him to "go for it" when it came to shooting Pierce.

She was found incompetent to stand trial and has been committed to the Utah State Hospital. A review on her mental status will be held April 11.

E-mail: emorgan@desnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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