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Judge sentences lifelong criminal for ‘execution’ slaying in North Ogden

By Mark Shenefelt - | Feb 1, 2023

Photo supplied, Weber County Sheriff's Office

Ryan Joseph Dash

OGDEN — Dalton Wood arrived expecting to fight, taking off his shirt and putting his cell phone in a tree nook. Then Ryan Dash showed up and shot him dead.

“Without any provocation Mr. Dash pulled out a firearm and shot Mr. Wood in the chest,” Clark Harms, a Weber County Attorney’s Office prosecutor, said during Dash’s sentencing on Jan. 25, according to an audio recording of the hearing.

Dash, a white supremacist gang member, was on parole when he and Wood agreed to meet in North Ogden on Feb. 8, 2020.

“First and foremost, this offense is a clear example of extreme cruelty and depravity,” 2nd District Judge Cristina Ortega said.”Mr. Wood was essentially executed in an ambush. He posed no threat to Mr. Dash.”

She sentenced the 35-year-old Dash to 25 years to life in prison on a charge of first-degree felony aggravated murder.

A sister of Wood’s wrote a letter to the court, which was read during the sentencing hearing. “You have no idea what you have done to my family,” said the letter, addressing Dash. “I see no remorse from you. I hope you get a life sentence, because you have already sentenced my family to life.”

Dash declined to speak at the hearing, but his attorney, Grant Morrison, talked about Dash’s criminal background and his potential for becoming a productive member of society while behind bars.

“He scores one of the highest (risk management) matrices that I have seen in 44 years of practice,” Morrison said. “We go back to age 11. That is shocking on its own.”

But Morrison said Dash has been making changes since he’s gone back to prison on a parole violation after his arrest in the Dalton slaying.

“He has indicated to me, and at some substantial risk to himself, that he has recanted his white supremacist beliefs,” Morrison said. “He is no longer a member of the Soldiers of Aryan Culture. In fact, he has repudiated any interest in that, and appreciating a potential lifelong sentence, that puts him at enormous risk in the environment he’s in, where there are a number of gangs.”

Dash has some “legitimate” friends and relatives on the outside who are helping him “down the right path,” Morrison said.

“You look at him, well, you’ve got a hard guy. He’s got swastikas and everything else,” Morrison said. “I don’t know how you can get around the initial appearance and understand what he might be, except by his own actions.”

Ortega also sentenced Dash to 1-15 years in prison, to be served concurrently with the murder term, for second-degree felony theft.

Charging documents said Dash and others were involved in the theft of a safe from an assisted living center. Several guns were in the safe, and one or more of those firearms were used in the Wood killing.

Wood, 29, was also hit by a shotgun blast in the lower extremities. Charging documents said Brigham City resident Brian Jenson, 30, was with Dash. Jenson, also a white supremacist gang member, pleaded guilty last year to a reduced charge of manslaughter.

Dash told police he earlier had assaulted Wood’s brother and that Wood threatened him in response. He said the two agreed to meet, and Dash said that after he arrived, “I killed the (expletive).” Dash initially claimed he acted alone, but police later arrested Jenson.

In his plea bargain, Dash pleaded guilty to first-degree felony aggravated murder, with the prosecution recommending that he be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison rather than the other sentencing option, life without the possibility of parole.

The Weber County Attorney’s Office also agreed to drop charges of obstructing justice and use of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person.


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