Search warrants executed in death of baby

CEDAR CITY – Recently unsealed search warrants reveal police are investigating the death of a 2-year-old Cedar City boy who had been placed in his mother’s boyfriend’s care. The search warrants, unsealed last week in 5th District Court, detail questions surrounding the days leading up to the child’s death on June 12 when he was rushed to Cedar City Hospital after he quit breathing. According to the affidavits written in support of the search warrants, the mother Brittany Juanita Hall, 25, had left her child with her boyfriend Gavin Michael…

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Man arrested in underage sex trafficking sting found incompetent to stand trial

CEDAR CITY – A 53-year-old man arrested last February after allegedly trying to solicit sex with two 13-year-old girls has been found incompetent to stand trial. James Michael Garrelts has been committed to the Utah State Hospital in Provo after the court determined he was unable to participate in his own defense due to a mental disorder. Court documents did not specify the nature of the mental disorder but stated that while he understood his charges, he did not comprehend the nature of the legal proceedings against him. The court…

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Wyoming resident headed to arraignment after shooting firearm inside Cedar High

CEDAR CITY – A Wyoming man arrested in April for allegedly shooting a firearm inside a local high school waved his preliminary hearing Thursday in lieu of a possible resolution. Talon Sessions from Thayne, Wyoming is scheduled for arraignment Aug. 14 where it is likely he will plead not guilty. Defense attorney Jeff Slack said he is hopeful the case will be resolved by then. “He (Sessions) really is not a bad kid,” Slack said. “He just made some bad choices.” Sessions was arrested April 5 on multiple charges including…

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Cedar City mother to stand trial for the death of her 14-month-old daughter

CEDAR CITY – A Cedar City woman facing felony murder in the death of her 14-month-old daughter will stand trial later this year. Fifth District Judge Keith Barnes granted the request for trial Tuesday in the case of Cherokee Dea, who is charged with first-degree murder. She is also facing charges for two counts of child abuse, both second-degree felonies, and child endangerment, a third-degree felony. The 24-year-old pleaded not guilty during a hearing April 24. Dea’s boyfriend Brendan Russell Dalton, 30, has also been charged for the same crime.…

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Judge calls kidnapping incident ‘brutal,’ hands down prison sentence despite attorney’s pleas for leniency

CEDAR CITY – A 5th District judge admonished a Cedar City woman from the stand Tuesday for her involvement in a kidnapping and assault incident, calling the facts of the case “frightening.” Judge Keith Barnes ordered Deanna Hanson to serve one to 15 years for aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony. He also handed down concurrent sentences of 0-5 years for possession of heroin and one year for assault. She was sentenced to the Utah State Prison. When asked if she had anything to say to the court before her sentencing,…

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Judge hands down stiff sentence in child sex abuse case

CEDAR CITY – A 5th District Judge handed down a stiff sentence Tuesday in a case involving two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, both first-degree felonies. Judge Keith Barnes ordered Blane Scott Fredrick to serve two concurrent sentences of 15 years to life for the charges. Concurrent means the defendant will have to serve one sentence at the same time. Barnes immediately remanded the 56-year-old into the custody of the state and ordered him to be taken to the Iron County Correctional Facility to await transfer to…

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Enoch man sentenced for sending porn photos to minor

CEDAR CITY – An Enoch man was sentenced to 180 days in the county jail Tuesday for sending pornographic photos of himself to a 15-year-old. Shane Egan, 26, was convicted on a third-degree felony for dealing harmful materials to a minor. He pleaded no contest to the charge. Egan was originally sentenced to 0-5 years in the Utah State Prison, but that sentence was suspended in lieu of the other. Following his arrest Aug. 14, 2017, Egan spent two days in the Iron County Correctional Facility before bailing out. He…

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Cedar City woman allegedly sets fire to apartment after snorting bath salts

CEDAR CITY – A Cedar City woman allegedly set fire to her basement apartment over the weekend after snorting bath salts, authorities said. Ericka Nichols Gillette was arrested Saturday morning for aggravated arson, a first-degree felony, and assault by a prisoner, a third-degree felony. According to the probable cause statement filed in 5th District Court, Cedar City Police were called to the Mountain View Real Estate building on reports that someone had heard the sound of glass breaking. When officers arrived on scene they discovered a window was broken out…

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Jury verdict comes in on aggravated child sex abuse case

CEDAR CITY – Blane Scott Fredrick faces life in prison after a jury found him guilty Friday of two first-degree felonies for aggravated sexual abuse of a child. The 8-member panel deliberated nearly eight hours before coming back with a conviction that carries a possible life sentence in the Utah State Prison. The minimum sentence is 15 years for each count, which for the 56-year-old defendant could result in spending the rest of his life in prison regardless of what sentence the court imposes. Fifth District Judge Keith Barnes scheduled Fredrick’s sentencing June 5…

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