SALT LAKE CITY — A West Valley man has been sentenced to three years of probation after he was convicted of forcefully pushing his grandfather to the ground, causing a fatal head injury.
Jason Ryan Northrup, 35, was ordered Friday to avoid alcohol and drugs during the three years. In September, he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of criminal homicide by assault, a third-degree felony. He was originally charged with manslaughter, a second-degree felony.
On June 12, emergency crews arrived at 3036 W. 2960 South in West Valley City, where they found 81-year-old Sherral Northrup near a shed with a traumatic brain injury, court documents show. He died at a hospital later that day.
In letters to the judge, Jason Ryan Northrup's mother, Laura Northrup, and his uncle, Jason Northrup, said they do not believe Jason Ryan Northrup intended to kill his grandfather.
"I know Jason is deeply hurt by the accident with his grandfather," his mother wrote. "He is already facing my father's death every day by living at his home."
He has completed a 12-class anger management program and "provided insightful comments" at the meetings, court documents say.
Northrup told officers he had been living with his grandfather for a few months, and the two had been arguing over the past week, according to charges. Surveillance video shows Jason Ryan Northrup exiting the shed, placing his hands on Sherral Northrup's shoulders, and "violently" shoving him to the ground, charging documents state. An autopsy found the grandfather had skull fractures and brain hemorrhages.