Fewer criminal homicides reported in 2016 in Northern Utah

Tuesday , December 27, 2016 - 5:30 AM2 comments

MARK SHENEFELT, Standard-Examiner Staff

Eight people have been killed in apparent criminal homicides in Northern Utah so far this year, less than half the toll of 2015.

In 2015, 17 people died by criminal homicide in Weber, Davis, Box Elder and Morgan counties.

RELATED: Police: No new information to release on South Ogden double homicide

Based on police reports and court records, here is a list of the 2016 cases:

Dec. 19 - Taylor Vancamp, 24. He was shot multiple times after an argument and fight with a roommate, the Layton Police Department said. Christopher S. Fritz, 19, has been charged with murder.

Dec. 9 — Cyle VanKomen, 24, and Kevin Nelson, 61. They were shot to death in a home invasion in the 3600 block of Ogden Avenue. A third man was critically injured. There have been no arrests, but the South Ogden Police Department has publicized surveillance video that shows three people outside the home before the shootings.

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Oct. 2 — Avery Hatton, 8 months. The Ogden baby stopped breathing and her mother took her to the hospital. She died Oct. 5 at Primary Children’s Hospital. Her father, Michael Lee Hatton, 25, is charged with murder. Doctors reported the baby suffered multiple fractures, probably over a week or more, and sustained a lacerated brain on Oct. 2. They said most of the injuries probably were caused by extremely violent shaking.

June 30 — Maddison Haan, 20, and Tyler Christianson, 19. Roy police said a suicidal Marilee Gardner, 16, was driving a stolen SUV at 98 mph and crashed it into a compact car carrying the two victims. Gardner is being prosecuted as an adult on two counts of murder.

May 22 — Deborah Biccum, 60. Weber County sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a domestic incident and found Biccum dead inside her condominium. An autopsy showed some trauma but was inconclusive on a cause of death, the sheriff’s office said.

The woman’s husband, Frank Biccum, 60, was arrested and booked into the Weber County Jail on suspicion of murder, but was released May 27 pending toxicology tests and further investigation. According to court records, no charges had been filed as of Thursday, Dec. 22.

Biccum’s attorney, Susanne Gustin, said the case remains under investigation.

May 6 — Miguel Angel Rios, 29. Ogden police said Rios was shot multiple times in the front yard of a home in the 500 block of 31st Street and died the next day. Devin Brock Smith, 19, is charged with murder in a case police said was gang-related.

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Another homicide did not happen in the four-county area but the victim was an Ogden resident. On March 14, Jeffrey Ray Vigil was killed in the Utah State Prison in Draper. Salt Lake County prosecutors said Vigil was punched, kicked, knocked to the ground then stabbed repeatedly. Ramon Luis Rivera, 30, and Albert Collin Fernandez, 38, were charged with murder.

Two other deaths in 2016 were deemed justifiable homicide:

Feb. 19 — Justin Patrick Moses, 35. Ogden police responding to a domestic violence call shot Moses as he was stabbing a woman, who was critically injured. Police said the man’s criminal record including convictions for stalking and violating a protective order.

Feb. 7 — Jenna Manuel, 30. Riverdale police and the Weber County Attorney’s Office determined that Scott Sandlin, 42, was justified in shooting Manuel after she charged him with a knife. The two had been arguing. Sandlin was charged with illegal gun possession and drug offenses.

At least one more death remains under investigation. On July 23, a fisherman spotted 26-year-old Nicole Barlow’s body in the Bear River north of the Corinne boat ramp. The Brigham City woman had been missing for about a week.

Barlow’s death is still being treated as suspicious, Box Elder County Chief Deputy Sheriff Dale Ward said Thursday, Dec. 22. The investigation is active but there are no persons of interest, he said.

You can reach reporter Mark Shenefelt at mshenefelt@standard.net or 801 625-4224. Follow him on Twitter at @mshenefelt and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SEmarkshenefelt.


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