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Man who shot 'telepathically' threatening neighbor sentenced

By Emiley Morgan | Posted - May 18th, 2013 @ 7:04pm

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FARMINGTON — A Centerville man who admitted shooting his neighbor because he believed the man was "telepathically" raping his wife has been sentenced to prison.

Michael L. Selleneit, 55, was sentenced to two consecutive prison terms of one to 15 years for attempted manslaughter and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, second-degree felonies, in the Oct. 30, 2011, incident. Second District Judge Thomas Kay ordered that the man could serve some of his time at the Utah State Hospital, where he is to undergo treatment.

He also ordered Selleneit to pay almost $12,000 in restitution.

Selleneit pleaded guilty but mentally ill to the charges in January. He was originally charged with attempted murder, a first-degree felony, and possession of a firearm by a restricted person, a second-degree felony.


Police say Selleneit took a handgun that he kept under his pillow, walked over to his neighbor's trailer and shot Tony Pierce multiple times as the man was working in his yard.

When Selleneit was arrested, he told police he shot Pierce in self-defense and intended to kill him, claiming Pierce had been "telepathically threatening he and his wife" and had telepathically raped his wife. Apparently, it was a claim that Selleneit had been making for years.

Pierce was hospitalized and eventually recovered from his injuries.

After questions about Selleneit's competency, Kay determined that the man was competent enough for the case to move forward.

Selleneit's wife, Meloney Toone Selleneit, was also charged in connection with the shooting. She faces charges of criminal solicitation, a first-degree felony, and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a second-degree felony, for buying the gun used by her husband and allegedly telling him to "go for it" when it came to shooting Pierce.

She was found incompetent to stand trial and has been committed to the Utah State Hospital. A review on her mental status will be held June 13.


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