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Stabbed lawyer Steven Killpack describes confronting home intruder

Published July 17, 2012 2:37 pm

Recovering • The veteran lawyer says his prognosis is "optimistic."
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Salt Lake City attorney who was stabbed in his home earlier this month described the attack Tuesday in an email to reporters.

Steven Killpack wrote that he woke July 5 and "was surprised to find a man in my home who was previously unknown to me."

"He identified himself as Matthew Wall, and he claimed to have entered my home with permission from an unidentified person," Kilpack wrote in an email to reporters. "After I confirmed his claim of invited entry was untrue, he attacked me with a knife, stabbing me repeatedly and inflicting serious internal injuries."

Killpack, 63, was able to escape and walked down the street knocking on neighbors' doors until he found help.

Salt Lake City police arrested Wall, 28. Prosecutors later charged him with burglary, attempted murder and possession of a weapon by a restricted person. He is scheduled to next appear in court July 27.

In his email, Killpack thanked emergency responders as well as defense attorneys and prosecutors who have expressed support and helped with his caseload since the attack. Killpack is a former Utah County Attorney who went on to be in charge of the federal public defenders office in Utah. He remains a criminal defense attorney in private practice.

"My injuries required operative surgical treatment at the University Hospital," Killpack wrote. "Although the long term prognosis for recovery is optimistic, I am still very weak, and my convalescence is expected to continue for several months."

In an interview with police after his arrest, Wall claimed he was invited into Killpack's home by a man he did not know, who had been sleeping on the balcony, according to a probable cause statement filed with the Salt Lake County jail after Wall's arrest last week.

Wall said "the old man" was mad at him because Wall had "messed with his pantings (sic)." He said "the old man" had tried to cut Wall's neck with a large knife and a small knife, and Wall said he fought with "the old man," the jail statement said.

ncarlisle@sltrib.com

Twitter: @natecarlisle