Sheriff's detectives and prosecutors were to meet Tuesday to decide whether the killing of a Murray man over the weekend was justified.
Brett Snarr, 20, of 209 E. Gordon Lane #31, was shot once in the head late Friday. Deputies found him lying on the floor of a bedroom in an apartment at 6636 S. Royal Harvest Way (2055 East).Shane L. Perkins, 23, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of criminal homicide following the shooting. But prosecutors have yet to decide if homicide charges will be filed against him.
Sheriff's Capt. Bill A Van Wagenen explained that Snarr and his girlfriend, 21, were visiting Perkins and his girlfriend, 20, at their east Salt Lake County apartment when the incident occurred. An argument apparently developed between Snarr and his girlfriend and Perkins interceded by separating the couple.
"We received information that (beatings) had occurred and were probably occurring that night," Van Wagenen said, referring to Snarr and his girlfriend.
Perkins tried to get Snarr to leave the apartment without his girlfriend, a sheriff's report states. Snarr refused to leave, apparently threatened the others and Perkins got out a pistol.
"He (Snarr) said, `Go ahead and shoot me,' and moved forward threateningly," the captain said.
Snarr was shot once in the head and died before paramedics arrived.
Despite the fact that the shooting occurred in Salt Lake County, Wasatch County Attorney Steve Hansen is investigating the case. Bud Ellett, chief of the Salt Lake County Attorney's justice division, said his office declined to look at the case because the suspect's mother works as a secretary in the county attorney's office.
Hansen's office is expected to decide late Tuesday or Wednesday what, if any, charges will be filed. "It could go anywhere from second-degree murder to justifiable homicide," Van Wagenen said.
"The key question is was the force that was used necessary to quell that threat?" he said. "Was the action he took appropriate to prevent serious injury or death to others in that apartment?"
Perkins was allowed to leave the Salt Lake County Jail Monday and was released to Pre-Trial Services, jail officials said. Such a move is highly unusual for homicide suspects and may indicate that officials do not anticipate heavy charges.
Van Wagenen said his office did not oppose the release because of the nature of the case and the fact that Perkins has no prior convictions.