Man charged with murder says it was a ‘mercy killing’

Suspect is accused of killing one man and seriously injuring another with a piece of angle iron.

The Salt Lake Tribune

A Utah man who has been charged with killing a man with a piece of angle iron told police he was overcome with an “evil feeling” and that it was a “mercy killing.”

Nathaniel Joseph Kenyon, 42, was charged in 3rd District Court with murder, a first-degree felony; and aggravated assault, a second-degree felony.

According to the charges, on May 1, Salt Lake City police officers found the body of Kevin Ray Hettich, 51, at 338 W. Hansen. Hettich, police said, had “obvious signs of ... major trauma to the head.”

Surveillance video shows a suspect — later identified as Kenyon — carrying a long metal pole and putting something in his pocket.

A second victim told police he was sleeping on his front porch nearby when he was attacked by someone with a metal pipe. The second victim suffered a laceration to his face that required staples. Also, his lip was cut open and his right arm was broken. Surveillance video showed a suspect, later identified as Kenyon, “stop in front of the house, approach the front porch and start swinging a metal object” at the second victim, according to police.

After police located Kenyon, he said he had used an angle iron — a long, L-shaped piece of metal — in the attacks and told officers where to find it, near the TRAX line at 1700 South and 300 West. Police located the angle iron, which they said matched the weapon seen in the surveillance videos and “appeared to have blood and hair on it.”

Before they began questioning him, police said, Kenyon told them, “I killed a guy. I did him a favor. It took him down and killed him as fast as I could. It was a mercy killing.”

After he had been read his rights, the charges state, Kenyon told police he picked up the angle iron about 3 a.m. and “saw a guy sleeping on a porch.” He hit that victim “two or three times,” but didn’t kill him.

Police say Kenyon then told them that, as he walked down the street, he saw another man — holding a tire iron, hiding in the dark waiting to kill him, according to the police account of Kenyon’s claims. Police say Kenyon said he had an “evil feeling” and attacked Hettich.

Kenyon told police it took about five minutes to “kill this guy.” After killing him, according to the charges, Kenyon robbed Hettich. The police report does not mention whether a tire iron was recovered.

Kenyon is being held without bail in the Salt Lake County jail.

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