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Utah woman facing federal murder charge commits suicide

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 13 2013 8:44 p.m. MST

MILLCREEK — A woman facing a federal murder charge in the slaying of a San Juan County photographer and tour guide has committed suicide.

Michelle Davida Harvey's body was discovered about 9:45 p.m. Monday by a family member in an apartment near 4200 South and 500 East, according to Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal.

Hoyal said Harvey's death was "an obvious suicide," however, her body was taken to the State Medical Examiner's Office for autopsy.

A federal grand jury indicted Harvey in July on charges of second-degree murder while within Indian Country and discharging a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.

The indictment accused Harvey, 29, of shooting Carlos Peney Mose with a .22-caliber handgun in Halchita, Utah, on Jan. 28, 2012. Mose was pronounced dead at an Arizona medical clinic later that day. 

The incident fell under the jurisdiction of federal prosecutors because the shooting happened on the Navajo Indian Reservation, and both Harvey and Mose are members of the Navajo Nation.

Mose, 35, grew up in Mexican Hat and attended Monument Valley High School. He graduated from Fort Louis College in Colorado with a degree in Indian studies, according to his obituary in the San Juan Record. He worked as photographer and tour guide in Mexican Hat, where he also played the flute and performed for visitors.

Harvey was released from pretrial detention to a halfway house on the Wasatch Front in September, according to court records. In December, she asked to be allowed to return to the Navajo reservation, stating that "the separation from her children has caused a great deal of anxiety and depression."

"Allowing her to be with them at this time of year would benefit her mental health," Harvey's attorney wrote in court filings. "Financial situations make it very difficult for her family to travel to Salt Lake, hence the request that she be allowed to travel to her mother’s home."

A five-day jury trial for Harvey was scheduled to begin May 6. She faced a sentence of 10 years to life in prison, if convicted on all charges.

E-mail: gliesik@desnews.com

Twitter: GeoffLiesik

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