The Salt Lake District Attorney's Office is continuing to review charges in the case of a Murray man arrested earlier this week in a double homicide.

Christian Sweeten, 26, remains jailed with bail at $500,000, and a notation in the Salt Lake County Jail's booking log indicates authorities have requested additional time to probe the case.

A booking report on two counts of aggravated murder said Sweeten was upset about receiving bad directions from Anthony Marcell Gaines, 42, and Michael Todd Ehlert, 20, Monday when he was driving in the area of 500 North and 1000 West.

"Mr. Sweeten said he attempted to follow those directions but ended back in the area," jail documents stated.

Sweeten told police that "he was upset with the poor directions and confronted the two who provided these directions," according to the jail report.

A verbal confrontation ensued just before 5 a.m., ending when Sweeten pulled out a .22-caliber long rifle and shot Ehlert and Gaines, jail documents state.

Sweeten's family and fiancee say the shooting happened because he felt threatened.

"He ran into these two guys, asked them directions on how to get back to the freeway. They sent him on a wild-goose chase," Charles Sweeten said.

When Christian Sweeten ran into the two men again, Charles Sweeten said he believed his son said something to the men, who in return addressed him "in some abusive terms," and the argument heated up from there.

Christian Sweeten likes to hunt elk and had recently taken his rifle to a shooting range, Charles Sweeten said. He said his son did not keep a rifle next to him in the car and usually stored it in the trunk.

At some point during the confrontation, Charles Sweeten said the two victims "went after" Christian Sweeten. His fiancee told Charles Sweeten that Christian Sweeten was fired upon first.

"He did say he felt his life was threatened. He was attacked and provoked," Charles Sweeten said.

Salt Lake police have declined to comment on any evidence but did say they do not believe Gaines or Ehlert were armed.

Sweeten has a clean criminal history in Utah but was charged and later put on probation for discharging a firearm in Nevada.

"He's a college student. He has a job. He's a very, very bright young man. We don't even know how to go through this process because we've never been to jail," Charles Sweeten said.

What's mostly on the minds of the Sweetens now is that three families are suffering.

"Three families have been absolutely ruined. We don't know these guys, he didn't know them. But they're people, they had parents that loved them, they had siblings that loved them. We feel really really bad for their loss. Our hearts really do go out to the others," he said.


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