Utahn arrested in Orem metal pipe assault that later killed a man

An Orem man was arrested Thursday for investigation of murder in connection with a metal pipe assault at his home in August.

An Orem man was arrested Thursday for investigation of murder in connection with a metal pipe assault at his home in August. (Spaxiax, Shutterstock)

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OREM — A man who claimed he hit another man with a metal pipe in self-defense in August has now been arrested for investigation of murder.

Preston Marsh, 39, of Orem, was booked into the Utah County Jail on Thursday.

On Aug. 22, Orem police were called to Marsh's home, 1169 W. 400 South, on a report of an assault. Officers found the victim in the driveway, unconscious with a head injury.

"The suspect, Preston Marsh, stated that he hit the victim in the head with a metal pipe out of self-defense due to the victim threatening him," according to a police booking affidavit.

Doctors stated the victim had a "minor brain bleed" that required staples to close the wound. But several days later, the victim suffered a seizure "and medical staff indicated the seizures were likely tied to the brain injury caused by Preston," the affidavit states.

On Nov. 1, the victim — who is not identified in the arrest report — was found unconscious by his girlfriend and later died. An autopsy was conducted and the medical examiner concluded "the cause of death was a seizure caused by the original injury inflicted by Preston Marsh," the affidavit says.

Detectives were able to collect home surveillance video of the incident and saw Marsh hit the victim, but "there was no act seen in the footage that could be interpreted as an act of threat, violence, or attack toward Preston," police wrote in the affidavit.

Police cited the Utah code for arresting a person for suspicion of homicide and noted that "a reasonable person would know that delivering a blow to a person's head using a large, metal pipe would cause serious bodily injury and could easily cause a brain injury, which would be dangerous to human life, or even death."

As of Friday, no formal criminal charges have been filed against Marsh in the case.

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


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