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Man shot, left in Utah's West Desert after alcohol-fueled fight, police say

Man shot, left in Utah's West Desert after alcohol-fueled fight, police say


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SALT LAKE CITY — An alcohol-fueled fight led to a Santaquin man being shot in the head Friday and his body left in the West Desert, police said.

Troy James Pexton, 56, was arrested and booked into Juab County Jail for investigation of murder, obstruction of justice and failure to report the finding of a dead human body. Scott Randy Blackett, 41, of Nephi, was booked for investigation of desecration of a dead body, according to court records.

Police were originally notified about the shooting by another man from Nephi who was reportedly uninvolved. Officers then met up with that man and Pexton, a police affidavit states.

Investigators learned that Pexton, Blackett and Michael Caussey, 50, had been driving in Pexton's truck.

"The third party also disclosed to our office that the subjects had been drinking and driving and a fight had occurred between (Caussey) and (Blackett)," according to the affidavit.

Caussey then allegedly "repeatedly punched (Blackett) in the face" during the argument, police said.

"It was then explained that (Pexton) intervened in the fight and pulled out a gun and shot the victim. The third party then advised that Troy dumped the victim's body and drove the vehicle back to the Nephi address," the affidavit states.

Detectives found Caussey's body off the Brush Wellman Highway in Juab County.

Investigators searched the vehicle the men had been driving and found blood in the passenger side and back seat floorboard, according to police, as well as a bullet in the roof of the rear passenger seat. They also found "open containers of alcohol," firearms, ammunition and a pistol inside the vehicle, the affidavit states.

When police tried to speak to Blackett in the hospital where he went to be treated for his wounds from the fight, police said he was "not forthcoming" but told them he had been punched in the face by Caussey, according to the affidavit. Blackett said that Caussey had climbed from the front seat into the back to "beat on him," police said.

"(Blackett) advised that they all had been drinking, but was not able to tell me much more after the fight. (Blackett) stated that he suffered a concussion and lost consciousness," the affidavit states.


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Ashley Imlay covers state politics and breaking news for A lifelong Utahn, Ashley has also worked as a reporter for the Deseret News and is a graduate of Dixie State University.


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