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Mom of suspect says daughter didn't know of Mount Pleasant slayings (video)

Published January 5, 2012 1:52 pm

"She was unaware of the shootings that took place in Mount Pleasant."
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Appearing in a Nevada court via video from the Elko County jail on Wednesday, 25-year-old Angela Atwood clenched her fists over her eyes in agony and sobbed uncontrollably.

"Why am I being charged with attempted murder?" Atwood asked the judge, who continued to read allegations as Atwood apparently hyperventilated, pulling her blue jumpsuit over her eyes and bending her head to her knees in despair.

Atwood's mother, Denise, said her daughter told her during a phone call from jail that she was a victim rather than a participant, and that Logan McFarland, 24, held her hostage during a two-state crime spree that left a Mount Pleasant couple dead and a carjacked Nevada woman seriously injured.

"In her words, she said she is innocent," Denise Atwood said. "She was crying and crying. She was unaware of the shootings that took place in Mount Pleasant. When they booked her she about fell over because she had no idea."

McFarland, during his video appearance, calmly folded his arms and asked the judge: "How am I being charged with kidnapping?"

Later Wednesday, Nevada prosecutors formally charged both Atwood and McFarland with attempting to carjack a West Wendover woman on Dec. 31. Atwood and McFarland each face two felony counts of car theft, conspiracy to commit kidnapping/and or robbery, kidnapping with the use of a deadly weapon, and robbery with the use of a deadly weapon.

Atwood was additionally charged with attempted murder. Prosecutors allege she wielded a handgun and shot and wounded 35-year-old Rattana Lirange in the head.

A scheduling hearing for the pair is set for 4 p.m. Friday in Elko.

No homicide charges have been filed, but McFarland has been charged in Utah's 6th District Courtwith one count of burglary of a dwelling, a second-degree felony charge. Meanwhile, the duo are being held without bail in Nevada on federal fugitive warrants.

Denise Atwood said her daughter claims McFarland beat her and knocked out some of her teeth. Angela Atwood also claims she was trying to escape from McFarland when she got into the car driven by Lirange. McFarland, who was following in another car, shot Lirange in the head and also fired a shot at Atwood, Denise Atwood said.

Denise Atwood told The Tribune there were parts of her daughter's past week she didn't have time to discuss. The mother said she tried asking how her daughter came to be with McFarland in the first place, but the only thing Atwood said was that she went to a house in Moroni to smoke spice.

Police have said it does not appear Atwood was involved in the slayings, but that she later became involved in the crime spree — which included several car thefts and a high-speed chase.

At one point after escaping into the Nevada desert, Denise Atwood said, her daughter told her she saw a ranch and thought about running. But McFarland "said if you try to get away, I'm going to make you dig your own hole, your own grave," Denise Atwood said, quoting her daughter.

An obituary for victims Leroy "Woody" and Dorotha Ann Fullwood published Wednesday recalls them as beloved parents who were active in their church and communities where "they loved and were loved by their neighbors wherever they lived."

The couple will be remembered at a Friday service at the LDS chapel at 295 S. State St. in Mount Pleasant. A second service will be held Saturday at the LDS chapel at 275 E. 10600 South in Sandy. Both services will begin at noon.

Leroy served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, completing numerous tours of duty on the USS Kittyhawk. He met his wife in California, and the couple moved to Utah after marrying in 1966. They raised three children: Charlotte Ann Stewart of Mount Pleasant, Lisa Marie Boman of Taylorsville and Michael Lee Fullwood of Sandy. The Fullwoods have 11 grandchildren.

Before retiring in Mount Pleasant, Dorotha Fullwood taught special education at schools including Jordan Valley School and Hillcrest High School until 2004. Her husband was the owner and operator of hair salons in Sandy.

The deadly crime spree began Dec. 29 and ended without incident Tuesday after the pilot of a small plane spotted Atwood and McFarland on foot in the desert 27 miles east of Wells, Nev.

Police said McFarland apparently selected the Fullwood home at random. He had friends drop him off on a road behind the residence late on the night of Dec. 29, according to court documents. Police have said the friends picked McFarland up again about 1:30 a.m.

The Fullwoods were found dead in their home Dec. 31.

Damien Flores, 20, who court documents say contacted police with information about the murders, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of obstructing justice, burglary and evidence tampering. Documents say he burned items taken from the Fullwood home before calling police.

Police also arrested Allison Boudreaux, 45, on suspicion of drug possession. A search warrant said she owned the home where Logan McFarland attended a party the night of the killings.

The Fullwood family issued a statement Wednesday saying that while the capture of two suspects has brought relief to the family they were "emotionally overwhelmed and still attempting to process the incident that has brought the end to the lives of our loving parents."

Brandee Fullwood, daughter-in-law of the Fullwood couple, said the family has not focused on the suspects but rather on planning a funeral and celebrating the lives of Leroy and Dorotha.

"We are just going to go forward and live our lives the way they showed us and the way they would be proud of us," Brandee Fullwood said.

cimaron@sltrib.com

Twitter: @cimcity

ncarlisle@sltrib.com

Twitter: @natecarlisle