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Filing: Layton homicide suspect threatened murder-suicide, asked about death penalty

By Rob Nielsen - | May 22, 2023

Chris Samuels/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP

Officials investigate a home Friday, May 19, 2023, in Layton. A man killed his wife and her parents and then called police Friday to report and admit to the crime, authorities said.

LAYTON — The events surrounding a triple-homicide Friday are starting to become clearer.

An affidavit of probable cause filed Friday evening in the 2nd District Court in Farmington stated that Jeremy Lake Bailey, 34, Layton, was charged with three counts of aggravated murder, three counts of felony discharge of a firearm and three counts of aggravated cruelty to animals.

Bailey is accused of shooting three people Friday morning: his wife, Anastasia Stevens, 36, plus her father, Donald Stevens, 73, and stepmother Becky Stevens, 61.

According to the affidavit, Bailey called the Layton Police Department at 9:45 a.m. Friday to report “there will be a murder suicide.”

“The suspect told dispatch that he has killed his wife, his father-in-law, and his mother-in-law, along with three of the four family dogs after engaging in a domestic violence incident with his wife,” the affidavit said. “The suspect confirmed the victims and dogs were dead multiple times while on the phone with Layton Police dispatch. The suspect estimated he had killed everyone approximately twenty minutes before calling Layton Police dispatch.

“He told Layton Police dispatch he had firearms which had been stored at friend’s garage because he was thinking of doing this a few days ago. Furthermore, the suspect stated he was armed with a Springfield 9mm firearm which had belonged to one of the victims and he had forgotten about it until May 19th, 2023.”

However, in spite of the proclamation of a murder-suicide, Bailey ended up surrendering to officers without incident as soon as they arrived at the home in the 1800 block of Gentile Street. Upon entry, authorities confirmed the deaths of the three victims and three dogs. A handgun, an open box of ammunition and two cellphones were discovered at the scene. During a search of Bailey’s truck, a receipt was found for the ammunition, which had been purchased less than an hour before the shootings were reported.

“The suspect was taken to the Layton City Police Department and placed into a secure holding cell,” the affidavit continued. “The suspect was video and audio recorded during this time. The suspect made an excited utterance: ‘I can’t believe I did it,’ while he was in a holding cell awaiting to be interviewed.”

The police filing adds that right around the time of the call to police, a post was made on one of the victims’ Facebook pages saying, “MASSACRE SUICIDE Jeremy Bailey JUST KILLED EVERYONE Becky Stevens Don Steven AND 3 OF THE 4 DOGS 1832 EAST GENTILE STREET LAYTON.”

“One of the victims had contacted a therapist earlier in the day and sent a message stating, ‘I think we may have a very real problem. So I uncovered the (mega) load of his shady s—. And it’s really bad. Like scary. I think it may be time for legal interference I know I definitely need to find an attorney and He’s still at the house so I can’t talk,'” the affidavit said.

Bailey was given food and water at the police station and requested the surviving dog not be sent to the pound. He reportedly also asked investigators about the death penalty and whether it was still carried out by a firing squad. He reportedly made an utterance that he’d rather get the death penalty than life in prison. Bailey asked for an attorney to be present before any questioning take place and was not questioned about the incident.

The affidavit said contact was also made with the friend who had taken possession of the firearms. The investigation is still ongoing.

On Saturday, an order to hold without bail was filed.


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