EAGLE MOUNTAIN — Police continued Monday to investigate the death of an Eagle Mountain man who was apparently shot by his wife over the weekend, attempting to piece together the history in a home where domestic violence had been reported as recently as January.
Tiana Hitesman, 31, called police late Friday and reported she had shot her husband, 33-year-old Elwin Dale Hitesman. They arrived at the house, 4125 E. Parkers Place, to find Elwin Hitesman dead on the living room floor, shot twice with a revolver.
Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said Monday police are working with the county attorney's office and interviewing witnesses about the climate in the Hitesman home before making any determinations about the shooting, but so far it appears to be an incident of self defense.
Cannon pointed to recent domestic violence charges filed against Elwin Hitesman, including a new case last month, calling the shooting a "sad outcome" to a painful situation.
A series of domestic violence-related charges dating back 14 years were filed against Elwin Hitesman, several of which were ultimately dismissed, according to Utah court records. He pleaded guilty in September 2000, June 2001 and June 2007 to charges of simple assault related to domestic violence.
He has also faced charges of criminal mischief, public intoxication, alcohol- and drug-related reckless driving, and other traffic violations.
Elwin Hitesman was charged again Feb. 2 with assault, unlawful detention and interrupting a communication device, all class B misdemeanors, stemming from a domestic violence incident in January. He pleaded not guilty on Feb. 3, and a pretrial protective order that had been issued expired on Feb. 17, according to court records.
On Jan. 31, Tiana Hitesman was stopped for speeding by a Utah Highway Patrol trooper, who reported the woman was "frantic," explaining she was rushing to get home because she was late and was afraid her husband would be upset, according to a Utah County Jail affidavit filed in Elwin Hitesman's arrest.
A few hours later, police received a call from a man who reported he had seen Elwin Hitesman drag his wife from her car, where she had attempted to lock herself in to get away from him, before pulling her into the house. When the man followed the Hitesmans into the house, Elwin Hitesman became upset and assaulted the man, throwing the man's phone out a window when he tried to call 911, according to the affidavit.
As police arrived to crashing noises and yelling in the home, the man asked police to hurry and get inside, fearing that Tiana Hitesman would be hurt.
Tiana Hitesman, however, was "crying and visibly upset," asking police not to arrest her husband for fear he would lose his job, the affidavit states.
On the night of Elwin Hitesman's death, police believe there was a physical altercation between the couple. Tiana Hitesman reportedly came out of the home with her hands up to meet police and was cooperative as she was interviewed before ultimately being released.
The couple's four children, ages 1 through 9, were in the home at the time of the incident, but were sleeping, police said. Investigators will seek help from the Utah County Children's Justice Center to interview the children about the situation at the home.
Family members have declined to comment on the case.
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