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UPD arrests man in fatal stabbing of stepfather

Published November 5, 2012 1:38 pm

Domestic violence • Struggle for knife allegedly occurred after victim demanded suspect leave.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

Unified Police officers early Monday morning arrested a 30-year-old Taylorsville man as a suspect in the fatal stabbing of his stepfather.

UPD Lt. Justin Hoyal said that police received a 911 call about the stabbing at 3:04 a.m. The home, located near 2100 West Rebecca Ann Circle (6570 South), has a history of domestic disturbance calls involving the suspect and his 63-year-old stepfather, police said.

Hoyal said the victim, identified as John L. Palm, was conscious when police answered a 911 call, despite numerous stab wounds, and allegedly was able to identify his stepson, Doneral Dalton, as his attacker before being transported to the hospital. Palm later died at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray.

Dalton initially fled the house on foot when police arrived, but he was chased down in a field and taken into custody about a block away.

Hoyal said investigators were questioning Dalton, his mother and a brother who were believed in the home at the time of the attack — reportedly done with a kitchen knife in the residence's living room.

Dalton was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Monday afternoon on suspicion of first-degree felony murder and failure to stop at the command of a police officer, a third-degree felony. Bail was not immediately set.

According to a probable cause statement, Dalton told detectives that he had been confronted by Palm inside the home and ordered to leave. Dalton claimed Palm initially had the knife, and "during a struggle the victim was stabbed with the knife several times."

Dalton has an extensive history with law enforcement, having been convicted of numerous shoplifting charges and other charges, including illegal drug possession, going back to 2001. In 2008 he pleaded "no contest" to a third-degree felony attempted aggravated assault count.

Dalton was last booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Oct. 15, when he was held on suspicion of assault/domestic violence, shoplifting and driving on a suspended license and without proof of insurance, records show.

remims@sltrib.com