Police: Suspects premeditate gruesome attack on St. George man before fleeing to Cedar City

ST. GEORGE — A man and a woman are in custody for allegedly perpetrating a gruesome assault against a man in Washington County after a daylong search for the couple ended in their arrest in Iron County Sunday.

Sasha Michelle Davis, 20, and Kade Robert Shearer, 21, were arrested and booked into the Purgatory Correctional Facility after being accused of luring a man to a remote location in Washington County, beating him with a hammer and fleeing to Cedar City. They were found hiding in a house in Cedar City Sunday, April 15, 2018 | Bookings photos courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News/Cedar City News

Sasha Michelle Davis, 20, of St George, and Kade Robert Shearer, 21, were arrested and booked into the Purgatory Correctional Facility Sunday on second-degree felonies of aggravated assault and aggravated kidnapping. They were also charged with aggravated assault, a third-degree felony, and misdemeanors for threats against life and tampering with evidence. They are being held on a $50,000 cash-only bail.

The attack

A 40-year-old man from St. George was invited by Davis, who was an acquaintance of the man, to a remote area north of St. George Saturday along Turkey Farm Road, according to a news release issued by Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

The victim believed the encounter was for the purpose of engaging in intimate relations and drove to the arranged area with another acquaintance,” the news release reads.

After meeting with Davis, police say Shearer attacked the man with a hammer. Davis then allegedly began using a stun gun on the man and tried to tie him up with a rope while Shearer continued assaulting him.

Before initiating the attack, police say Shearer hid in the trunk of a vehicle as he waited for the man to be alone with Davis.

After the attack, Davis and Shearer then fled the area in a black Honda Accord that was owned by the victim’s friend, police said. The victim’s friend, who came to the area with him, took him to the Dixie Regional Medical Center in the victim’s car. Police arrived at the hospital at 10:41 p.m. Saturday on report of the attack.

“Upon arriving at the hospital, detectives observed injuries consistent with the victims report which also included ligature marks around his ankles, wrist and neck,” the police statement reads.

The search

The Iron County Sheriff’s Office first heard from officers in St. George that they were seeking a man and a woman for an attempted homicide at about 8 a.m. Sunday, according to a news release from Iron County Sheriff’s Office. Fifteen minutes later, an Iron County Sheriff’s deputy located the black Honda Accord off the Bench road south of Newcastle, a rural community in Iron County near Enterprise.

The view from a helicopter from Southern Utah University’s aviation program shows Iron County Sheriff’s deputies and Cedar City Police officers arrive at a home in Cedar City, Utah, where two people suspected of aggravated assault were hiding out Sunday, April 15, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News/Cedar City News

No one was in the vehicle when officers found it, Iron County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Del Schlosser said. With the help of a helicopter from Southern Utah University’s aviation program, officers began to search the area around Newcastle.

“We didn’t know if they went up into the hills, but that’s where we started looking for them,” Schlosser said.

Police later obtained information that Davis and Shearer may have fled to Cedar City. Iron County Sheriff’s deputy Jobe Peterson, the same officer who found the car in Newcastle, happened to recall another vehicle that belonged to a “relative or friend” of the suspects, Schlosser said.

With Peterson’s knowledge and by working with Iron County parole and probation services, officers were able to make the connection to the other vehicle, Schlosser said. At noon, the owner of the vehicle was located and Peterson responded to a home on 1450 North in Cedar City where the driver was staying.

After speaking with the driver of the other vehicle, officers determined that Davis and Shearer were hiding inside the home. Deputies and officers from Cedar City Police Department assisted in containing the area around the home, and K-9 units went into the building.

After being apprehended by a police dog, Shearer tried to run away, Schlosser said, but he was soon arrested and taken into custody with Davis.

“Both suspects refused to cooperate and were apprehended by the K-9,” Schlosser said. “They were then both taken to the Cedar City Hospital for dog bites.”

Davis and Shearer were then transferred to the custody of Washington County Sheriff’s deputies.

The charges

Police said detectives determined the attack was premeditated after interviewing the suspects and the victim.

Police believe the suspects also took the man’s cell phone and wallet in order to destroy evidence and prevent him from notifying police. Investigators are looking into reports that Davis and Shearer used the stolen credit cards at the Walmart in Cedar City.

The investigation is ongoing, and according to Washington County Sheriff’s Office, additional charges may be filed at a later date. There are also pending charges from Iron County, Schlosser said.

Finding and apprehending the suspects quickly took total cooperation from sheriff’s deputies, Cedar City Police and SUU aviation for the air support, Schlosser said.

“It was true teamwork and good police work,” Schlosser said.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Email: sricks@stgnews.com

Twitter:  @STGnews | @SpencerRicks

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