Orem man charged with murdering girlfriend's son with metal pipe

An Orem man who claimed he hit his girlfriend's adult son in the head with a metal pipe in self-defense was charged in Provo's 4th District Court Thursday with murder.

An Orem man who claimed he hit his girlfriend's adult son in the head with a metal pipe in self-defense was charged in Provo's 4th District Court Thursday with murder. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

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OREM — A man who claimed he hit his girlfriend's adult son with a metal pipe in self-defense was charged Thursday with murder.

The first-degree felony charge was filed against Preston Marsh, 39, of Orem, in 4th District Court.

About 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 22, Marsh was asleep at his home when 27-year-old Jensen Gage Harvey — the son of Marsh's girlfriend — came to the house to get his dog.

"The victim was intoxicated and belligerent. According to (Marsh), the victim threatened to kill him multiple times while he was in the house and outside," according to the charging documents.

On home surveillance video, Harvey is seen taking his dog to his car, and then follows Marsh to the back of the house to a shed, out of the camera's view. Marsh and Harvey's mother told police there was a "physical altercation" in the shed, the charges state.

"The victim shoved, threatened and hit (Marsh) with his hand or fist on the side of (his) body. It left no marks or injuries and (Marsh) was able to push the victim away, grab a pipe and hit the victim on the arm which made the victim back off and leave the shed," according to the charges.

Harvey then walked back to his car and in the view of the surveillance camera again. Marsh and the Harey's mother followed, and the confrontation resumed.

"All three are engaged in an argument with pointing, posturing and pushing each other as they are walking across the driveway. It appears that mom is trying to stop the confrontation by getting in between the men and pushing them away from each other," the charges state. "As the victim is backing up toward his vehicle and away from (Marsh), he is speaking to Mom. It is at this point that (Marsh) walked over to the victim and his mother and strikes him twice in the head with the 3-foot, galvanized steel pipe. The victim falls to the ground and does not get up."

Harvey required two staples at a local hospital to close the cut on his head. He suffered a concussion and minor brain bleed, the charges state. However, he soon developed a "seizure condition" and was given anti-seizure medication.

"The victim's health continued to deteriorate after the assault with seizures, loss of weight and bleeding. On Nov. 1, the victim suffered a fatal seizure at his home. An autopsy was performed as well as a review of the victim's medical records. The medical examiner concluded that the victim's death was a homicide caused by post-traumatic seizure, as a result of blunt force injuries to the head," the charges state.

Marsh was arrested in February.

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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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