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Provo man ordered to prison in connection with stabbing roommate 53 times during fight

By Carter Williams, KSL.com | Posted - Jun 18th, 2019 @ 9:41pm


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PROVO — A Provo man who pleaded guilty to attempted murder after he was accused of stabbing his roommate 53 times during an “LSD-infused fight” in 2018 was sentenced Monday to serve at least 4 1/2 years in prison for the attack, according to court documents.

Mackenzie E. Ulibarri, 31, pleaded guilty to attempted murder and mayhem, each second-degree felonies; as well as a three third-degree felony counts of possession of a firearm by a restricted person and two counts of domestic violence in the presence of a child, also a third-degree felony, in connection with the Sept. 29, 2018 attack.

On Monday, 4th District Court Judge Kraig Powell ordered Ulibarri to serve two sentences of 1 to 15 years, consecutively, at Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison, in relation to the attempted murder and mayhem charges. Powell also sentenced Ulibarri to serve five indeterminate terms in relation to the other counts. All five of those sentences are not to exceed 5 years in length and are to be served consecutively, according to court records.

In addition, Powell ordered Ulibarri to pay $301,651 in restitution, most of which would go to the victim in the case, Jordan Smith. Ulibarri’s attorney objected to the ruling that would give Smith over $300,000, and records show a hearing was set for Aug. 13 to determine the final restitution amount Ulibarri will be ordered to pay.

Ulibarri was initially charged on Oct. 3, 2018, in connection with the attack. Prosecutors alleged Ulibarri attacked Smith, 27, who was Ulibarri’s roommate at the time, with a meat cleaver. Ulibarri was said to be under the influence of LSD and stabbed Smith 53 times. Doctors had to revive the man three times.

The stabbing happened after Ulibarri fired off four “warning shots” at the man, according to charging documents. Prosecutors said Ulibarri “severed the victim's ear and almost cut clean through his right hand at the wrist” during the attack. Ulibarri ran to his neighbor’s house after the attack and was arrested there.

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Ulibarri was originally charged with a first-degree felony in the case, but the charges were amended when he pleaded guilty on April 29.

“Shortly after taking the LSD, I fired a handgun four times in my apartment and then attacked by roommate J.S., with whom I cohabited, with a butcher knife which inflicted multiple wounds upon him all in an attempt to cause his death,” Ulibarri admitted in a document filed that day. “The attack occurred while I knew that two children were located in the house where they may have heard the attack on my roommate.”

Prior to Monday’s sentencing, Ulibarri’s friends, family and others wrote Judge Powell nearly two dozen letters seeking leniency during sentencing. The letters described Ulibarri as “gentle,” “polite” and “kind.”

“What an awesome responsibility it must be to sit in judgement and pass judgement and punishment,” wrote Ulibarri’s father, Mark Ulibarri, in one of the letters. “I do not envy you. But in passing that justice there has to be mercy. Mercy balances the scales. Your Honor as you look at my son, I pray that you will have mercy.”

Court records show Mackenzie Ulibarri had no major previous criminal history in Utah prior to the Sept. 2018 attack.

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