PROVO — A man charged with shooting his wife a dozen times in a church parking lot in Lehi was bound over Monday evening to stand trial for aggravated murder.

But until then, David Ragsdale, 35, will remain in the Utah County Jail with no bail.

"I find by clear and convincing evidence that this is somebody who could possibly hurt someone else," ruled 4th District Court Judge Claudia Laycock, after she denied Ragsdale's attorney's motion to set a bail amount, and heard evidence from a preliminary hearing Monday.

Ragsdale has been in the Utah County Jail without a bail amount since Jan. 6, when witnesses said he pulled into an LDS church parking lot where his wife, Kristy, attended church and opened fire on her, killing her at the scene. He turned himself into Lehi police hours later.

Under Utah Code, individuals bound over on a capital crime can be held without bail. The Utah County Attorney's Office has not yet made a determination whether or not they will seek the death penalty on the capital charge, although their 60 days to decide started Monday, said prosecutor David Sturgill.

Witnesses testified Monday during a preliminary hearing that they saw Ragsdale drive around the church parking lot in his dark-colored BMW, then park in front of Kristy Ragsdale's minivan.

Kristy's mother, Ann Palizzi, testified that she watched Ragsdale get out his car and the couple seemed as if they were going to talk, although no words were exchanged.

"When I turned back, I saw Dave take his left hand and go into his right inner pocket and pull out a gun," Palizzi said. "He brought it up ... and proceeded to empty the gun into Kristy's body as if it were target practice."

Palizzi was only 8 feet away from Ragsdale while he shot her daughter.

That was one of the state's main arguments for the aggravated murder charge —that Ragsdale put other people in danger of death.

However, Ragsdale's attorney, Greg Skordas, argued that the state's witnesses almost all testified that they saw a man who was "focused in every respect," he said, including using two hands to point the gun down at Kristy Ragsdale. With that, Skordas argued in closing that Ragsdale was only focused on the crime against his wife and not intent on hurting others.

"There's a compelling case for a homicide case here, but knowing and intentionally murder? There's no evidence, your honor," Skordas said.

Skordas argued the charge should be bound over for first-degree felony murder instead of aggravated murder.

Ragsdale will be in court again July 9 at 1:30 p.m. for a pre-trial conference.


E-mail: sisraelsen@desnews.com