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Midvale man pleads guilty to killing his roommate

Published January 15, 2013 1:01 pm

Courts • Fight over missing CDs led to felony manslaughter.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A 24-year-old Midvale man has pleaded guilty to beating his roommate to death during a fight involving missing CDs.

Christopher John Wiggins, 24, who was initially charged 3rd District Court with first-degree felony murder, pleaded guilty last week to a lesser count of second-degree felony manslaughter. He also pleaded guilty to first-degree felony aggravated burglary.

Wiggins faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced Feb. 20 by Judge Charlene Barlow.

The plea stemmed from the Oct. 15, 2011, slaying of 47-year-old David Brown at their home, 582 E. Carmel Drive (7400 South).

According to testimony at an April preliminary hearing, Wiggins told police during a lengthy interview that he and Brown had several disputes during the four months they were roommates. Wiggins wanted the home cleaner for when his daughter visited and was angry that Brown worked at an alcohol treatment program but drank at home. There were also back-and-forth allegations about stolen property.

About 50 or 60 CDs disappeared two days before Brown's death and Wiggins was furious, according to testimony.

Wiggins returned to the home the day of the homicide to ask for the CDs again, got upset and left. When he returned, the locks had been changed.

Wiggins climbed a ladder to break into his bedroom, where he encountered Brown. The two argued until Wiggins threw a plate in Brown's face and the two began fighting, and Wiggins struck him several times with a rake handle, police said.

Police found Brown's body at the foot of the stairs.

A medical examiner determined that Brown died because his heart was enlarged, but the stress of the assault precipitated his death.

jstecklein@sltrib.com

Twitter @sltribjanelle