PROVO Rather than focusing on the man who allegedly shot his wife in an LDS Church parking lot, prosecutors wanted to give the family of Kristy Ragsdale time to mourn and remember her.
That's why the Utah County Attorney's Office has delayed filing charges against David Ragsdale until later next week.
Prosecutors wanted to give the families time to take care of Ragsdale's funeral scheduled for today and child care for the couple's two young boys, said Deputy Utah County Attorney Craig Johnson.
"We really wanted to give them this week to arrange Kristy's affairs and not detract from the great life that she led, as opposed to focusing all the news on the defendant's actions," Johnson said. "We'll have plenty of time for that. (We wanted to) give this time to honor her memory."
On Sunday, Ragsdale had just exited her minivan in a Lehi church parking lot when her husband got out of his car and without saying a word, shot her five times in the back and once in the head, according to police.
Police say he shot her four more times after she fell to the ground.
Getting back in his car, David Ragsdale drove to a family member's house, officials say. That family member was the one who called police and the police negotiated with David Ragsdale until he turned himself in.
The couple had been separated and David Ragsdale found out just days before the shooting that his wife had filed for divorce.
David Ragsdale was slated to appear in 4th District Court to receive charges Monday, but prosecutors believe a delay is in the best interest of everyone.
The delay has also been agreed to by David Ragsdale's attorney, Greg Skordas.
"We understand how difficult these cases are," Skordas said, and acknowledged that it is a time-consuming process for both sides. "We have a lot to do on our end over here."
As part of that investigation, the Utah County Attorney's Office will be conducting numerous interviews during the next few weeks, before David Ragsdale appears in court on Jan. 28.
"We're pleased to see that the two families, Kristy and Dave's family have both presented a united front of healing and of tolerance and acceptance during this difficult time," Johnson said. "We would hope that that would extend to ... the cooperation of all members of those two families, especially those who spoke with the defendant after the shooting before he was arrested."
The Utah County Attorney's Office is interested in their comments and asks for full cooperation with them and the Lehi Police Department as they proceed.
The family of Kristy Ragsdale issued a statement Friday through the public affairs department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:"In lieu of flowers the family has asked that donations be made to help support the children of David and Kristy Ragsdale. An account has been set up in the names of Brandon and Carter Ragsdale at Wells Fargo Bank. Donations to the fund can be made at any Wells Fargo branch location."
Contributing: Jens Dana, Catherine Smith
E-mail: [email protected]