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Laura Seitz, KSL

Man fatally stabbed friend over missing cellphone, charges say

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Sep. 12, 2020 at 9:43 a.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — Investigators say a South Salt Lake man stabbed a friend to death as he lay in bed because he believed he had taken his cellphone.

On Friday, Edward Jay Kennedy, 69, was charged in 3rd District Court with murder, a first-degree felony, and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a third-degree felony.

Kennedy is accused of fatally stabbing Riley Nagle, 27, in his apartment at 2880 S. 200 East on Sept. 2, according to charging documents. South Salt Lake police say Kennedy has a history of mental illness and on the night of Sept. 1, he called a friend saying he was mentally unstable and needed support. Police believe that friend, Nagle, went to Kennedy’s apartment to talk to him.

After his arrest, Kennedy told police that he had known Nagle for about a month “and that Riley had been staying with him off and on for the previous week,” the charges state.

At some point, Nagle went into a bedroom to go to sleep, but Kennedy “believed Riley had taken his cellphone and that this angered him. While Riley was in the bedroom, Kennedy stated that his anger increased about his cellphone being taken.

“Kennedy stated that he began throwing Riley’s belongings out of the residence. Kennedy stated that he then grabbed a sharp knife, walked into the bedroom and stabbed Riley in the chest while he was lying on the bed,” according to the charging documents.

Kennedy then told a neighbor that he thought he had killed someone, stating, “I stuck my knife in him and twisted,” the charges say.

Kennedy has a lengthy history of intoxication and disorderly conduct cases, according to court records. Most recently, he was charged last month with intoxication and disorderly conduct in South Salt Lake Justice Court, and assault and intoxication in Murray Justice Court in March.

In 2009 he was convicted of aggravated assault in Washington County and was ordered to serve a one-to-15-year sentence in the Utah State Prison.

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