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Man charged with murder claims he reacted to 'evil feeling,' charges state

Man charged with murder claims he reacted to 'evil feeling,' charges state


SALT LAKE CITY — A man accused of attacking two people with a metal pipe, killing one and critically injuring the other, now faces criminal charges.

Nathaniel Joseph Kenyon, 42, of Salt Lake City, was charged Wednesday in 3rd District Court with murder, a first-degree felony; and aggravated assault, a second-degree felony.

On May 1, police were called to 338 W. Hansen Ave. where they found the body of Kevin Hettich, 51, who had "obvious signs" of being assaulted including "major trauma" to his head, according to charging documents.

While checking surveillance video in the area, investigators spotted a man carrying what appeared to be a metal pole, the charges state. Police also learned of a second victim who was sleeping on a porch in the same area where Hettich was found dead, the charges state. That man said he was attacked by someone with a metal pipe. His injuries included a broken arm and staples to close a cut on his head, according to charging documents.

Police identified Kenyon in the surveillance video and later located him.

"Before detectives began interviewing Kenyon he made statements which included 'I killed a guy,' 'I did him a favor,' 'I took him down and killed him as fast as I could. It was a mercy killing,'" the charges state.

Kenyon claimed he saw Hettich "hiding in the dark waiting to kill him" and that he had an "evil feeling and that it was time to react," according to the charges.

Prosecutors have requested Kenyon be held in the Salt Lake County Jail on no bail, noting that he was previously released just days before the killing, the charges state.

A police affidavit states that Kenyon was "previously served with an involuntary psychiatric hold." But he was moved to the jail after allegedly assaulting a health care worker.

According to the affidavit, he punched a nurse at University of Utah Hospital because he wanted a drink of water. He was taken to the Salt Lake County Jail on April 27 and released later that afternoon due to overcrowding, according to jail records.

In another incident on Dec. 29, Kenyon was arrested for punching another health care worker at University of Utah Hospital because "he kept drawing my blood," a police affidavit states. He was charged in Salt Lake Justice Court for that incident with assault, a class B misdemeanor.

He was charged again with assault, a class B misdemeanor, in South Salt Lake Justice Court in another case on March 9, and also on Nov. 30 in Salt Lake Justice Court, according to court records.

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