Court papers describe bizarre scene as former NFL prospect charged with murdering his wife in Park City

Anthony McClanahan

Anthony Darnel McClanahan was crawling on his stomach when a Park City police sergeant first spotted him.

McClanahan raised himself long enough to flag down the sergeant. Then, court papers filed Monday go on to say, McClanahan laid on his stomach again and began convulsing, making what the sergeant described as “snow angel” motions with his arms.

The barefooted McClanahan told police that he, his wife, the 28-year-old Keri Colleen “KC” McClanahan, and “his baby” were attacked by two or three men. Officers eventually found his wife’s body “unresponsive and covered in blood.”

Prosecutors say McClanahan, 46, was the real attacker. The Summit County attorney’s office charged Anthony McClanahan with first-degree felony murder Monday. The charge carries the possibility of life in prison.

Anthony McClanahan, who was signed and then cut by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1990s but for whom there’s no record of ever playing in an NFL game, remained Monday in the Salt Lake County jail, where he has been held without bail pending trial in an unrelated child kidnapping case.

(Photo courtesy of the Gauf family) Keri "KC" McClanahan

(Photo courtesy of the Gauf family) Keri "KC" McClanahan

The charging documents describe a strange scene early Nov. 2 at the condominium complex at 1710 Prospector Ave. A resident of the complex called police at 1:27 a.m. to say someone was crawling on his stomach through the corridors. The police sergeant happened to be driving by on patrol and spotted the former athlete three minutes later.

After asserting his family had been attacked, Anthony McClanahan did not give the sergeant his wife’s name or location, “even when asked multiple times,” the documents say.

After a “lengthy search” of the complex, charging papers say, officers found the condo with its door ajar and blood on the door and floor. Inside was KC McClanahan’s body.

Anthony McClanahan was bleeding and had lacerations on his face, neck, wrist, arms and torso, documents say, and his bare feet had blood on them.

On the floor near KC McClanahan’s hands, investigators found a paracord bracelet knife — a thick bracelet that unhooks to reveal a small knife — consistent with her wounds. Her sister, Heather Gauf, confirmed to police that KC McClanahan normally wore such a bracelet.

She had gotten the bracelet about a year ago, Gauf said, partially because she had an interest in knives, but also to protect herself.

A witness from out of state had been on the phone with Anthony McClanahan minutes before 10 p.m. Nov. 1, she told police. She said she thought KC McClanahan had been texting her husband. Over the phone, she heard Anthony McClanahan confront his wife, she said. When the caller tried to call Anthony McClanahan again just after 11:40 p.m., he didn’t answer.

No one matching the description of Anthony McClanahan’s alleged attackers appears on security footage from the entrance to the complex, documents say, and police said the keycard system for the McClanahan’s unit hadn’t been accessed since 9:25 p.m. Nov. 1.

Police said there were no signs of forced entry or that a baby or young child had been present at the time of the attack. No one tried using any of the phones in the room with KC McClanahan’s body — her cellphone, her husband’s cellphone and a landline — to call police, documents say.

Gauf told The Salt Lake Tribune there had been a history of domestic violence and physical abuse in the relationship. Since their marriage in January, KC McClanahan had fled from her husband on at least two occasions, Gauf said.

“My family is still very much in shock and grieving over all of this,” Gauf said Monday. She’s angry and upset, she said, but also relieved that charges have been filed.

Gauf said Anthony McClanahan tried to blame his behavior on injuries he’d suffered while playing football.

“I really want to see justice for my sister,” she said.

The sisters had talked the day before the attack. Gauf had encouraged her to visit her in Washington state, she said. KC agreed, and told her sister she planned to leave the next day, to visit and pick up her snowboard for the upcoming season before starting a new job in Park City.

Gauf plans to be in Utah for every court hearing on the case, she said, and she’ll paint her nails emerald green, her sister’s favorite color.

In the child kidnapping case, Anthony McClanahan is accused of picking up his 8-year-old son from school in Arizona without permission from the boy’s mother. McClanahan posted photos and videos with the boy in Las Vegas and Salt Lake City on his social media accounts before he was arrested several days later and the boy was returned to his mother, court documents say.

Free, confidential resources are available for victims of domestic violence through the Utah Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-897-LINK (5465). More information can be found at udvc.org.