Layton man accused of killing his wife and her parents, then calling police to surrender

Police in Layton are still investigating the victims’ cause of death.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) Officials investigate a home in Layton where police say a man killed three people before being taken into custody, Friday, May 19, 2023.

After what he called a “brief argument” with his wife, a Layton man called 911 Friday morning to report that he had killed her and her visiting parents, police said.

The 34-year-old was taken into custody at his home after dispatchers told him to walk outside, Layton police said in a statement.

Inside the house, the statement said, officers found three bodies: the suspect’s wife, Anastasia Stevens, 36; Anastasia’s stepmother, Becky Stevens, 61; and Anastasia’s father, Donald Stevens, 73.

The three appeared to have been shot, police said, but officers were still investigating. Officers searching the home had not found a firearm possibly used in the killings, an official said. Investigators also said a motive for the killings has not been determined.

Three of the family’s four dogs were also killed, police said, while the fourth dog was unharmed.

Anastasia Stevens, who owned a dog-training business, lived at the home with her husband, police said. Her parents lived in Nevada and were visiting.

The man had called 911 at about 9:45 a.m. from his home in the 1800 block of Gentile Ave., police said. Duane Porter, who lives next door to the couple’s house, said he didn’t hear any shots fired.

But at about 10 a.m. Friday, Porter said, three Spanish-speaking girls knocked on his door.

“They were trying to find someplace to hide [and] I let them in the house. And I came back out — I’m just in my bathrobe — and I hollered at a policeman, and I asked him what he wanted me to do with these girls. He says, ‘Just keep them safe. Take them behind your house and hide them.’”

The girls typed on their phones that the “police told them to hide,” he said.

The police officer knocked on his door about 15 minutes later, Porter said, and told him “that it was OK for [the girls] to leave. They left. And I don’t know what involvement they had in the deal. … I just felt sorry for them. They were in tears. You can’t speak English and somebody’s hollering at you.”

Layton Lt. Travis Lyman said first responders had gone to the house twice in the recent past, once for a medical issue and again for a call that “wasn’t anything significant.”

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) Officials investigate a home in Layton where police say a man killed three people before being taken into custody, Friday, May 19, 2023.

Neighbor Kim Wixom, who said she occasionally spoke with the couple, also hadn’t heard any shots fired Friday.

Anastasia Stevens’ father and stepmother “come and spend a lot of time with them,” Wixom said. “Last I knew, they weren’t living there. But they’ve seemed to be there a lot lately. Last I knew they lived in Vegas, and then they would just come here for weeks at a time.”

The couple “were both so good to my little [12-year-old] son,” she said. “… They were just really cute with him.”

The two did not have children, she said, but “had a big Halloween thing every year. They were really into it and decorated up. And so my son would go down there while they were making things and decorating and they would talk to him.”

Anastasia Stevens would have a donation box for an animal shelter “when you went through their little haunted house,” Wixom said.