Man arrested after one victim is killed, another beaten with a metal pipe

Suspect says attacks were done in “self-defense.”

The Salt Lake Tribune

A man who allegedly killed one man and assaulted another with a metal pipe has been arrested by Salt Lake City police.

Officers were called to an area near 300 West and Hansen Avenue (just north of 1700 South) on Saturday and found a man “with obvious trauma to the head” lying on the ground. Kevin Hettich, 51, was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to officers, they obtained surveillance video that shows a man with a metal object in his hands in the area where the Hettich’s body was found. The video shows a man matching the suspect’s description approaching a nearby residence and swinging a metal object in the direction of a porch.

The victim of that encounter, which occurred before the Hettich’s body was found, told police he had been asleep when he was awakened and attacked by a man with a metal pipe. He suffered head wounds requiring staples and a possible broken arm.

Police wrote that they were able to identify the 42-year-old suspect from the surveillance video, and located and arrested him Sunday. According to a probable cause statement, the suspect told police the victim on the porch had a gun in his hand and he hit him with the pipe “in self-defense.” He also said that he was “on a dark road” when Hettich approached him. “He admitted to killing the victim,” police wrote, “and being proud of it.” The suspect said this was another case of self-defense.

The suspect told police he killed Hettich and then dragged his body out of the road.

According to the probable cause statement, the suspect told police where he left the metal bar. Police found the bar with “what appeared to be dried blood and hair on it,” and it “appeared to be the same weapon observed in video surveillance footage.”

The suspect was booked into the Salt Lake County jail for investigation of homicide and aggravated assault. He is being held without bail.

The Salt Lake Tribune generally does not name suspects until they have been charged with a crime.

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