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Bluffdale man who backed out of suicide pact sentenced in wife's death

Published November 5, 2012 5:48 pm

Courts • Shawn Langford sentenced to 180 days in jail and probation after her suicide.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

A Bluffdale man who didn't keep his end of a suicide pact with his wife was sentenced to spend 180 days in jail after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor reckless endangerment charge.

Shawn Robert Langford, 42, and his wife, Rashell Langford, 33, had been ingesting bath salts and drinking heavily before making a suicide pact on Sept. 5, 2011, defense attorney Clayton Simms said during a hearing on Sept. 11, 2012. Police found cases of warm Natural Light beers inside the home and Rashell Langford's blood alcohol content was 0.46, Simms said, which is nearly six times the legal limit for driving an automobile.

The bath salts "counteracted the depressive effects of alcohol," allowing Rashell Langford to remain conscious despite being extremely intoxicated, Simms said.

Langford originally told police he had been having trouble with the bolt of his rifle sticking and was working the gun's action when his wife asked to see the weapon, then she put the barrel in her mouth and pulled the trigger.

But during a hearing in September, Simms said the woman's death was to be a suicide pact that her husband "did not honor."

Langford was also sentenced to serve two years probation, and to complete substance abuse treatment.

Rashell Langford's death apparently sparked a hostage situation at the FBI's downtown Salt Lake City office building.

On Sept. 17, 2012 — six days after Langford pleaded guilty — Robert Joseph Hibbard, Rashell Langford's ex-husband, allegedly took a hostage at the building after becoming increasingly agitated about his ex-wife's death and the charges filed against Shawn Langford. He allegedly initiated the episode because he wanted to speak to an FBI forensic psychiatrist, according to charges filed in 3rd District Court. Hibbard had accused the new husband of murdering his ex-wife in conversations with both The Salt Lake Tribune and Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, and indicated to The Tribune that he planned on talking with the FBI.

Hibbard told a Tribune reporter he was convinced the investigation into his wife's death was botched — believing Shawn Langford should have been charged with murder.

Hibbard, 41, has been charged in 3rd District Court with one count of first-degree felony aggravated kidnapping. A scheduling hearing in the case is set for Jan. 7.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller