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Charges filed in violent Iron County assault

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 15 2013 4:58 p.m. MDT

A transient accused in the brutal stomping death of a man who was letting the suspect stay in his house has been charged.

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CEDAR CITY — A transient accused in the brutal stomping death of a man who was letting the suspect stay in his house has been charged.

Brandon Thomas Sappington, 30, was charged Tuesday in 5th District Court with aggravated assault resulting in serious bodily injury, a second-degree felony, two counts of assault by a prisoner, both third-degree felonies, and interfering with an arrest, a class B misdemeanor.

An initial appearance in court was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

According to a probable cause statement, police were called to 470 S. 75 West on Oct. 9 and found a badly beaten Bryan Mahue Mellor, 59. At the entrance to his apartment nearby, they found Sappington with blood on his hands and clothes, according to court records.

Mellor was flown to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, where doctors determined he had suffered multiple skull fractures. His injuries were "too extensive to attempt surgical intervention," doctors determined, according to court records. Mellor died from his injuries on Friday.

Investigators determined through at least one witness account that Sappington had repeatedly kicked Mellor's head "into a tubular steel railing," according to the probable cause statement. A witness also observed Sappington jumping and stomping on Mellor's head and torso, court records stated.

"Physical evidence indicates that Sappington continued to violently kick and stomp the victim after the victim had become unresponsive," according to court records.

Shoe impressions that matched Sappington's footwear were found on Mellor's chest and stomach, according to the probable cause statement.

As he was being taken into custody, Sappington tried to kick and head-butt police. He told one officer, "I'm going to kill you," then subsequently said to the officer, "Just kill me, bro," according to court records.

Police also noted that Sappington was a transient and living secretly with Mellor, against the wishes of the Cedar City Housing Authority, according to court records.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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