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Park City homeowner charged with murder in shooting death of tenant

A Park City man was charged Thursday with murder for allegedly shooting one of the people who was renting a room in his basement, according to charging documents.

A Park City man was charged Thursday with murder for allegedly shooting one of the people who was renting a room in his basement, according to charging documents. (Shutterstock)

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PARK CITY — A Summit County homeowner accused of shooting and killing his tenant following a late-night argument has been charged with murder.

James Kip Ramsdell, 58, of Park City, was charged Thursday in 3rd District Court with the first-degree felony. Ramsdell is accused of fatally shooting John Krieg, 50, of Park City.

Ramsdell owns a home in the Highland Estates area of Summit County. He rented his basement to Krieg and two other tenants, according to charging documents.

On Oct. 7, one of those tenants told police that he was trying to sleep when he heard Ramsdell and Krieg arguing, the charges state. That was followed by a gunshot at about 1 a.m.

The tenant went out of his room to investigate and found Ramsdell had a gunshot wound to his hand, according to the charges.

"Ramsdell stated he might've shot himself," according to charging documents. Two of Ramsdell's fingers on his left hand were injured, the charges state.

The tenant suggested calling police at that point but Ramsdell allegedly told him 'No,' the charges state.

The tenant would later tell detectives that at "some point during the night Ramsdell stated, 'We need to kill him or something,' and had earlier stated, 'We need to (expletive) kill him,'" in reference to Krieg, according to charging documents.

Later that morning, the tenant, Ramsdell and Krieg went outside to the front porch where Ramsdell and Krieg continued to argue, the charges state. Ramsdell then instructed the tenant to go back inside the house. When Ramsdell returned to the home, Krieg was not with him.

"When (the tenant) asked Ramsdell where Krieg was, Ramsdell responded that he didn't know. (The tenant) went to look for Krieg and found him lying on the ground. He checked for a pulse and found that Krieg was deceased," the charges state.

The tenant returned to the house and suggested they call police, but Ramsell again told him not to do it, according to the charges.

"(The tenant) stated to deputies that he did not call police out of fear because Ramsdell still had possession of the gun," the charges state.


A neighbor would later tell investigators that arguing between two men was heard outside about 4:15 a.m.

About 6:50 a.m., a woman walking her dog found Krieg on the ground and called 911. He was pronounced dead at the scene with a gunshot wound to his chest, according to the charges. Deputies also observed "numerous injuries to his face" as if he had been in a fight, the charges state.

As detectives began canvassing the neighborhood for evidence, they started with the house Krieg was found near. Inside, they found Ramsdell who "was heavily intoxicated," the charges state.

Initially, Ramsdell claimed to know nothing about the body in front of his house, but then stated, "Maybe I killed him. I don't know," according to the charges.

After Ramsdell sobered up, police questioned him. He "stated that he could have shot Krieg. He made numerous statements that were inconsistent with statements made by (the tenant) as well as the physical evidence located at the scene," the charges state.

Detectives served search warrants on the house to collect evidence, including DNA from blood found in the house and the gun allegedly used to shoot Krieg.

"The evidence located did not match the version of events given by Ramsdell," the charges state.

Ramsdell was arrested after being questioned. Prosecutors have requested Ramsdell remain in the Summit County Jail on no bail pending trial.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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