Talon Levi Hamann brought a knife to a fist fight in 2012 and used it to stab a 25-year-old stranger in the parking lot of an LDS church in Holladay.
Of this there was no question.
What jurors were tasked with determining this week was whether Hamann delivered the fatal blows to Michael Workman, who was left lying in the grass where the sprinklers would eventually wash away his blood.
They decided he did.
Hamann, 20, was found guilty in 3rd District Court of second-degree felony manslaughter, second-degree felony obstructing justice and third-degree felony tampering with a witness in the August 2012 stabbing.
All told, Hamann faces a penalty of two to 35 years in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 5.
Hamann’s conviction is the final piece of a years-long case against the three men who attacked Workman as he left a friend’s house on the 1600 East block of Delaware Lane (4945 South) at about 3 a.m. on August 23, 2012.
Authorities have said the men — Hamann, Austin Scott Taylor and Ryan Gordon Curtz — did not know Workman, but knew a woman with whom the victim had argued with earlier in the night.
Workman was stabbed eight times and left to bleed to death in the grass near the church. His body was found hours later by a passerby.
Hamann’s attorneys told the jury this week that although the defendant stabbed Workman, the fatal blows were actually delivered by Taylor, who the defense characterized as "a jerk."
Workman, the defense lawyers said, was belligerent and looking for a fight.
Earlier in the evening, he allegedly injured Hamann’s friend Petra Elkaz after she refused to kiss him and lift up her skirt. She called Hamann to give her a ride home, according to charging documents.
On Monday, after testifying on the first day of Hamann’s trial, Elkaz called Hamann her "hero."
Both Taylor and Curtz pleaded guilty in 2012 to obstructing justice and misdemeanor assault and, in exchange for promising to testify against Hamann, were sentenced to community service and three years’ probation.
While Curtz has since kept his nose clean, Taylor has not, Misner said. After violating the terms of his probation twice, Taylor was given a prison sentence.
Hamann has been held in the Salt Lake County jail on a $1 million cash-only bail since his arrest on Aug. 25, 2012.
Lawyers for Hamann did not return calls for comment on their client’s conviction Thursday.
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