Mark Elden Erickson faced a judge on Wednesday, as prosecutors accused him of gunning down his ex-wife's dinner companion inside a crowded restaurant in Beaver.
During a brief appearance in 5th District Court, Erickson, 30, was appointed a public defense attorney and was ordered to return for a review hearing on Jan. 9. A preliminary hearing also was set for Feb. 6, at which point a judge must decide if there's evidence to make him stand trial for aggravated murder in the death of Timothy McEnaney.
Beaver County Sheriff's deputies describe it as a brazen crime. In court documents obtained by the Deseret Morning News, detectives said witnesses watched as Erickson walked into the Timberline Inn restaurant late Saturday afternoon, went to the corner booth where his ex-wife, Danielle Catie Olsen, was sitting with McEnaney and shot him twice, hitting the 32-year-old in the head and neck.
Erickson then fled the restaurant. McEnaney was flown to a Salt Lake-area hospital, where he died on Dec. 2, deputies said.
"Ms. Olsen reported that over the past month she and the perpetrator (Erickson) had been attempting to reconcile their relationship, and that she had been living with him for the past 30 days," Beaver County Sheriff's Lt. Raymond Goodwin wrote in the statement filed with the charges.
Shortly after the shooting, deputies said they got a call from a friend of Erickson's named Mike Houston, who said he had been outside the restaurant.
Houston told deputies that he was with Erickson, the man's daughter and stepdaughter earlier in the day when they drove to Beaver Valley Hospital, where Olsen worked. She wasn't there, deputies wrote.
"A co-worker of Ms. Olsen's informed the perpetrator (Erickson) that the victim (McEnaney), whom the perpetrator knew had engaged in a prior relationship with his ex-wife, was coming to town," Goodwin wrote. "The perpetrator then went looking for Ms. Olsen and the victim, and eventually found the victim's vehicle parked at the Timberline Inn."
Erickson told Houston to park near the south side of the restaurant, "because he didn't want his daughter and stepdaughter to see him 'fight' with their mother," Goodwin wrote. "Mr. Houston and the children then stayed in the truck while the perpetrator entered the restaurant to confront Ms. Olsen and the victim."
Moments later, deputies said Erickson came out of the restaurant, and they drove to Beaver. During the drive, Goodwin wrote that Erickson "declared that he had 'shot' victim McEnaney."
Erickson was arrested late Saturday night and booked into the Beaver County Jail, where he is being held with bail set at $2 million cash only.Beaver County prosecutors have not said if they intend to seek the death penalty.
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