Kaysville police: Son kills father at Top of Utah motel

Mar 21 2011 - 6:40am

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Joseph Nance
Gregory Nance
Joseph Nance
Gregory Nance

KAYSVILLE -- Joseph Nance, 28, is in jail following a deadly shooting at the Far West Motel, where police say he shot and killed his father, Gregory Nance.

Gregory Nance, 52, had kicked his ex-wife and their son out of the motel after they had been living with him there recently, said Kaysville Police Detective Ryan Wilco. Joseph Nance went back to the motel and shot his father, Wilco said.

"What probably took five seconds tore apart an entire family and flipped our world upside down," said Charity Green, a sister of Joseph Nance.

Police were called to the motel at 410 N. Main St., at 7:45 p.m. Saturday, when they received a call that someone had fired a gun. They found Gregory Nance in one of the motel rooms, said Kaysville Police Capt. Brent Ward. Nance was pronounced dead at the scene. Police immediately began a search for his son, who they believe fled on foot after the shooting.

After searching all night, an interview with an acquaintance led police to him. The acquaintance had taken Joseph Nance up to a makeshift shelter in Layton, where police found him around 4 a.m., said Wilco. Police are not pursuing charges against the acquaintance at this time.

Once in custody, Nance admitted shooting his father and claimed self-defense, Wilco said. Nance was booked into Davis County Jail under suspicion of murder Sunday.

"I'm sure he's sitting there, regretting what he did," Green said. "My father is not going to be here anymore."

But their father's death would not have happened had Joseph Nance not been using drugs, Green said.

Joseph Nance graduated from Mountain High School with straight A's and wanted to get a degree, said Green and Lacey Nance, another sister. But after a friend died in a car accident, Joseph made no secret of turning to drugs eight to 10 years ago, they said.

Their family tried rehabilitation and interventions, but methamphetamine changed a man who was "a good guy" and "the best brother you could ask for," his sisters said, adding that he threatened to kill their father for years.

There was a history of domestic abuse between their father and mother before they divorced. But Gregory Nance got treatment in the past few years and changed for the better. Green said, "I just wish I could call him and hear him say 'I love you baby' one more time."

She urges anyone abusing drugs or considering it to "stop right now. You never know when your breaking point is."

Police are still looking for the .22-caliber revolver they believe Nance used and want the public to keep an eye out. If anyone finds the gun or has any information, they should call 801-451-4150, and not touch the weapon.

A Facebook page has been created to help Gregory Nance's family pay for his funeral, as they say they cannot afford one. The website is at http://www.causes.com/causes/593840.

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