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Man pleads guilty to auto homicide in ATV rollover

By Mark Shenefelt - | Sep 14, 2021

Photo supplied, Davis County Jail

Matthew Daniel Murphy

FARMINGTON — An Ogden man has pleaded guilty to automobile homicide for the death of a passenger in a Davis County ATV rollover a year ago.

Matthew Daniel Murphy, 41, entered the plea in 2nd District Court on Monday and Judge Rita Cornish set sentencing for Sept. 23.

The Davis County Attorney’s Office last October charged Murphy with second-degree felony automobile homicide after Trevor Dykes, 31, also of Ogden, was killed in Farmington Canyon on Sept. 12, 2020.

A Davis County Sheriff’s Office probable cause statement said Murphy’s registered blood alcohol content was 0.11%, about twice the legal limit for driving in Utah.

In his plea document, Murphy said he hit the brakes and the ATV spun with its rear wheels teetering over a cliff. The vehicle slowly tipped off the cliff, rolling several times before crashing to a stop. Murphy said he checked Dykes’ pulse and saw he was dead, then walked out of the canyon to a road where others found him.

Murphy initially was allowed release from jail pending trial and ordered to wear an alcohol monitor. He was sent back to jail after pretrial services reported several alcohol violations.

Court records show Murphy had a DUI conviction in Ogden 23 years ago. The charge against him in the ATV crash was filed as a second-degree felony because of the prior conviction. Automobile homicide normally is a third-degree felony.

Murphy could be sentenced to one to 15 years in prison.

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