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Trial set for Utah woman accused of fatally stabbing ex-boyfriend

Published January 14, 2014 10:51 am

Bountiful • Shannon Sander is charged with first-degree felony murder, but she says she acted in self-defense.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Farmington • The trial for a Utah woman accused of fatally stabbing a man in his Bountiful apartment in February 2012 will go forward as scheduled, attorneys confirmed Tuesday.

Shannon Sander, 45, is charged with first-degree felony murder in the death of 52-year-old Michael Dunn, but her attorney claims she acted in self-defense.

On Tuesday, Sander appeared in Farmington's 2nd District Court, where defense attorney Mark Arrington told a judge that they are on schedule for a March 31 trial.

Dunn died on a bed in the living room of his Bountiful apartment on Feb. 21, 2012, after Sander allegedly stabbed him once in the chest.

The stabbing culminated a day-long drinking binge, Bountiful police Detective Keith Beal testified at Sander's 2012 preliminary hearing. Beal said Sander told him in an interview after the stabbing that Dunn had begun drinking at 9:30 a.m.

By about 11 p.m., she had consumed three cans of beer and about five to six inches of a bottle of whiskey, Beal said.

Sander told Beal that she stabbed Dunn after he tried to grope her and kiss her throughout the day. Though the two had dated in the past, Beal said, Sander told him that their friendship during the last six years had been nonsexual, and his advances were not welcomed.

"She said Mike kept doing it, and she stabbed him," Sander said. "She just lost it and stabbed him."

A medical examiner testified at the preliminary hearing that Dunn's blood-alcohol level at the time of his death was 0.23, which is nearly three times the legal limit for driving.

Arrington argued at the preliminary hearing that Sander was defending herself when she stabbed Dunn. He said that if had Dunn survived, he likely would have been investigated for sexual assault charges.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller