A 42-year-old man was charged Thursday with killing another man last week during a rampage in which he used rocks and a paving stone to attack four people in downtown Salt Lake City’s homeless district.
Kepedro Dedrick Kegler, a 42-year-old homeless man, was charged in 3rd District Court with first-degree felony aggravated murder for the July 25 death of 55-year-old Kevin McCann, who died of massive head trauma.
Kelger also was charged with two counts of first-degree felony aggravated attempted murder and one count of third-degree felony aggravated assault, for allegedly using rocks and a paving stone to attack three other people.
According to an arrest document, Kegler screamed, “Die, motherf——-,” and struck the victim repeatedly with a large concrete paving stone.
The assaults happened near the Uptown Security Storage facility on 500 West and under a freeway overpass at 600 West. Investigators were trying to figure out what prompted the assaults, but said it appeared that Kegler’s attacks were “random” and “unprovoked.”
The area is known for drug and mental health issues, Ungricht said. “We’re not saying those [two factors] are the cause, but those are certainly two things we look at.”
He said it is “unusual” and “tragic” to have two homicides in the same area within 24 hours of each other.
“It’s not real normal or rational for a person to pick up a paving stone and bash someone,” the detective said. Ungricht added that officers had been “familiar” with both homicide victims and Kegler.
Kegler remained in Salt Lake County jail, where he was being held without bail.
Last month, Kegler pleaded guilty and was sentenced to jail for trying to assault a police officer in Salt Lake City, according to court records. His previous criminal history in Utah includes criminal trespassing in 2009 and communications fraud in 2008.
The homicides “certainly” have affected other people experiencing homelessness in the area, Ungricht said. Criminals sometimes “prey upon” people experiencing homelessness who are there for the “right” reasons, such as looking for housing resources and corrective services for substance abuse problems or mental health issues.