Utahn threw crowbar on man's head in love triangle murder attempt, charges say

A Gunnison man has been charged with attempted murder after police say he threw a crowbar from his roof at his ex-girlfriend's former boyfriend and hit him in the head.

A Gunnison man has been charged with attempted murder after police say he threw a crowbar from his roof at his ex-girlfriend's former boyfriend and hit him in the head. (Alamy Stock Photo)

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

GUNNISON — A Gunnison man was charged Tuesday with luring a friend of his ex-girlfriend to his residence so he could kill him.

Randall Jay Christensen, 42, is charged in 6th District Court with attempted murder, a second-degree felony.

On July 1, Christensen "lured the victim to his home, with the intent to kill him," according to charging documents. "When the victim knocked on his door, (Christensen) was hiding on the roof and threw a heavy crowbar on his head in an attempt to kill him."

The incident involved a woman who had broken up with Christensen in June, and a second man — the victim — whom she has a child with, the charges state. Christensen wanted his relationship with the woman to continue, according to a police booking affidavit. The woman and the second man are no longer a couple but remain on good terms with each other.

On July 1, the woman went to a fireworks show with the victim. After the show, Christensen made accusations about the victim, which the woman said were not true, and she went to Christensen's house to confront him about it, according to the affidavit.

After the victim learned that she had gone to Christensen's house, he also went there. But when he got to the door, he was struck in the head by a crowbar, the affidavit states. He looked up in time to see Christensen on the roof. The victim, who "was now bleeding profusely from a large gash on his head," was taken by the woman to a local hospital where he "required 14 staples to repair the gash on his head. It measured approximately 3 inches in length," according to police.

A Gunnison police officer responded to Christensen's house to question him and arrested him after saying Christensen was initially evasive with his answers, then called his attorney who arrived at the scene and advised him not to answer any questions, the affidavit states.

While being transported to jail, "he spontaneously uttered several things," including that "it was karma" that the crowbar hit the victim in the head, according to the officer.

Later, the woman showed police several disturbing text messages she said she had received from Christensen.

"It appears from his text messages, that Randall planned for some time to lure (the victim) into his home in an attempt to justify killing him. He makes several references to slicing or carving him up. Randall's texts … appear to be an attempt to provoke (the victim) to come to the house," according to the affidavit. "His texts also reveal a disturbing amount of fantasizing about killing (the victim) if given the chance. If the crowbar had fallen from the roof, the distance does not appear to be sufficient for the crowbar to inflict such a substantial injury to (the victim's) head. The crowbar must have been thrown with some force to have caused the injury."

After being booked into jail, police attempted to serve a search warrant on his cellphone and asked him to provide the code to unlock his screen. He refused, according to an arrest report, and was booked for investigation of an additional charge of obstruction of justice.

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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 for the Deseret News


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