Police arrest four in stabbing death at Holladay LDS church
Police arrested four people Friday in the stabbing death of 25-year-old Michael R. Workman, whose body was found outside an LDS church in Holladay.
Investigators believe Workman was leaving a friend's house on the 1600 East block of Delaware Lane (4945 South) when he was attacked by three men at about 3 a.m. Thursday, said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal.
The trio didn't know Workman, but had tracked him down to settle a dispute with a mutual friend, Hoyal said.
It's still unclear what prompted the original dispute, but it led to violence, Hoyal said. Talon L. Hamann, 18, allegedly stabbed Workman, while 20-year-old Austin S. Taylor and 18-year-old Ryan G. Curtz hit him with their fists.
They left the Sandy man to die outside the nearby church, driving away with 18-year-old Shalynn Caro behind the wheel, Hoyal said. She allegedly also drove them to the scene.
Workman's body was discovered about 7:30 a.m. Thursday, and detectives initially had little to go on.
"We started yesterday with a bodyâ¦ no idea who did it," Hoyal said. Investigators found Workman's car in the neighborhood, and went from there, finding a witness who identified the three suspects, who were arrested beginning about 24 hours after Workman's death.
Hamann was arrested at a downtown Salt Lake City Motel 6. Taylor and Caro were at one Holladay home, and Curtz was found at another home there several hours later, about 10 a.m. All three men were booked into Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of homicide and held without bail. Caro was being held on obstruction of justice charges.
All four have been charged recently with minor crimes, according to a search of Utah court records.
Hamann, who graduated from Highland High School this year, according to his Facebook page, was charged Wednesday with failure to remain at the scene of an accident and driving on a suspended license, both class B misdemeanors. Taylor, whose Facebook page lists him as 2010 graduate of Olympus High, has a misdemeanor record for underage drinking and drug possession, and was charged earlier this month in an alleged assault. Curtz, who graduated from Granite Peaks, pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor graffiti violation last month. Caro was charged in June with misdemeanor marijuana possession.
Caro is a 2012 graduate of West High, according to her Facebook page, which also says she is engaged to Taylor.
According to KUTV 2News, Caro's mother, Annie Sutton, said she is in disbelief her daughter is in jail in connection with the homicide case.
"I'm devastated by this. She is not this type of person," Sutton told KUTV. "Participating in someone getting beat down and stabbed. No. I don't think she had any idea that was happening at all."
"We are pretty confident we now have everybody involved in this case in custody," Hoyal said. "This was a case of really good police work by our detectives."
The Workman family, meanwhile, is left to mourn.
The youngest of five and only boy of the family, Workman graduated from Alta High School and recently finished several years of work at a Provo charity, said sister Caren Toomer, of South Ogden. He was due to start a new job in the field soon.
"He really had a passion for [charity work]. Everything he did was always for other people," she said. Workman had gone from playing frisbee golf Thursday to a barbecue with friends he'd met playing the sport, she said. (The stop at the house on Delaware Lane came after, according to police.)
"He had a beautiful yellow lab he played frisbee golf with all the time," she said. "It's just so unbelievable. He's just a big goofy kid."
The family of Michael Robert Workman opened an account at Mountain America Credit Union for donations to help pay for his funeral expenses.