Judge allows murder charge to stand in Bountiful case

Sep 11 2012 - 7:29pm

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Sander
Sander

FARMINGTON -- After three hours of testimony, a judge ruled there was sufficient evidence to charge a Bountiful woman with first-degree felony murder.

Shannon Ryan Sander, 43, appeared before Judge David Hamilton in 2nd District Court on Tuesday for a preliminary hearing. She has been held in Davis County Jail on no bail since her arrest Feb. 22.

A felony arraignment hearing is set for Oct. 16 before Judge David Connors. Sander is accused of stabbing Michael Dunn, 52, in his apartment Feb. 21.

Her attorney, Mark Arrington, said in court, "There is not sufficient evidence to proceed with a murder charge."

Arrington said the couple had "a tumultuous relationship."

Dunn provided a place for Sander to live, and Sander cooked for him.

On Feb. 21, the two started drinking whiskey and beer around 9:30 a.m., police testified.

Several officers testified that Sander told them the reason she stabbed Dunn was because "he pissed her off" because he kept groping her.

Sander had told police she and Dunn had known each other for 12 years and for the last six years their relationship had been platonic, but on that day Dunn had wanted more from her than she wanted.

Alan Berryman, a neighbor, testified he heard banging on his door about 11 p.m. Feb. 21. When he answered it, Sander "was out of her mind. She was hysterical."

She told Berryman she needed his help, and after Berryman asked her a few questions, Sander told him she had stabbed Dunn.

Berryman testified that he told Sander he was calling 911, and she told him, "'You're going to get me into trouble.' I told her, 'I can't help that. Michael (Dunn) needs help.' (Sander) then said, 'I need to get out of here.'"

Berryman said Sander then left his apartment.

Bountiful Police Officer Jolene Pittman testified that when she arrived near the apartment complex, she noticed someone walking north on 500 West. She approached the woman and told her to stop.

That woman was Sander. Pittman put Sander in her car and then drove back to the apartment complex. When Sander saw the parking lot filled with police cars and emergency vehicles, she said, "Oh, (expletive)."

Pittman said she turned on her recorder inside her car, but did not ask Sander any questions.

Sander asked Pittman several times if Dunn was OK, Pittman testified.

"She was very concerned about him," Pittman said.

Pittman said Sander did tell her that Dunn had hit her in the chest earlier that day.

Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Edward Leis said Dunn had only one stab wound, which was in the chest. It went through the rib cage, nicked the lung and punctured the right pumping chamber of the heart.

A toxicology test showed that Dunn's blood alcohol level was 0.23 at the time of his death.

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