Police say suspect targeted his ex-wife, shot new husband instead

Published: Friday, July 4 2014 7:47 p.m. MDT

Updated: Friday, July 4 2014 7:47 p.m. MDT

Police arrested Fred Lee, 59, Thursday night for allegedly shooting his ex-wife's new husband, according to Lindon City Chief of Police Cody Cullimore. A 42- year-old man was found dead.

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LINDON — A man arrested for the murder of his ex-wife’s new husband told authorities that he traveled house-to-house searching for her with the intent of shooting her.

According to jail documents, Fred Lee, 59, admitted to police that he went looking for his former spouse "to kill her." Instead Lee was apprehended after he allegedly entered a home in search of his ex-wife Joy Sidwell, only to shoot and kill her current husband, according to Lindon police chief Cody Cullimore.

Police said 42-year-old Mike Sidwell was found dead with an apparent gunshot wound to the head when police arrived on scene at approximately 8:20 p.m. on Thursday.

Court documents showed that Joy Sidwell filed for a protective order in 2005 and a stalking complaint in 2007 against Lee. But despite numerous previous domestic violence incidents, she said the legal system failed her.

"(Lee) had assault rifles. He's been prosecuted with weapons. He had a rifle with a hundred rounds of bullets taped to it, and a sawed off shotgun," Joy Sidwell said. "He got them confiscated. The lawyer didn't do his job. They gave all these weapons back to him."

Probable cause statements described the encounter: "Fred said that he encountered Joy's husband Mike who fled into the residence at 166 North 400 west. Fred admitted to firing two rounds and one struck Mike and Fred said 'he was dead. Fred then made entry into the residence to search for Joy."

Police said that Lee's granddaughter, who is five or six years old, was believed to be a witness to the homicide.

"Right now we have got two victim advocates who have been working with the child as well as one of our detectives who is a certified child interviewer to try and lessen the trauma as much as possible," Cullimore said Thursday. "She's been a witness to a horrific scene tonight and we'll do everything we can try to alleviate as much of that as possible."

Police said that Lee went door-to-door shooting his way into two other homes in the "triplex condominium" looking for his ex-wife. One of the two homes Lee entered had residents inside but no one was injured, police said. His ex-wife was in Saratoga Springs at the time.

"Fred Lee is an individual I've known for most of my life actually,” Cullimore said. “He has been an individual that we've dealt with on domestic violence issues for quite a period of time."

Police searched Lee's home Thursday and found nine guns and several swords.

According to Cullimore, Lee and his wife developed the triplex condominium together, but Lee lost rights to the properties when the couple divorced. Police believe that Lee was also upset over a domestic dispute involving visitation rights with his granddaughter.

Contributing: Nykoyo Iyamba, KSL News; Miranda Collette, Deseret News

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