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Routine traffic stop nabs alleged murderer

By Lisa Riley Roche | Posted - Nov 24th, 2012 @ 10:18pm

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PAYSON — A traffic stop Friday evening resulted in a Payson man being arrested in connection with the shooting death of a man whose body was found in an abandoned truck stop parking lot.

Stephan Sutton, 26, was pulled over for driving a truck with its bright lights on and other erratic behavior on Payson's Main Street about the same time authorities received a call about the body, said Payson Police Lt. Bill Wright.

Wright said blood was spotted "in and around" the truck. Sutton ran away as soon as he was pulled over, but officers chased after him and subdued him with a Taser. He then fled a second time while he was awaiting medical attention. The handcuffed man was later found hiding underneath a vehicle.

Other officers discovered the body of Jeff Vern Jenson, 28, of Payson, in the parking lot of a Flying J parking lot on Main Street after receiving a call about a man with apparent stab wounds. Investigators determined he died of a single 12-gauge shotgun blast to the chest, Wright said.

Police later recovered the weapon. Wright said Sutton and his girlfriend Chaelisa Nielsen were involved in a "drug transaction gone bad" with the victim that involved a robbery when Jenson was shot.

Sutton was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, obstructing justice and other charges. Nielsen, 20, was also booked for investigation of aggravated robbery and obstructing justice after she was found allegedly hiding in Sutton's garage.

Contributing: Anne Forester


Lisa Riley Roche

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