FARMINGTON — A Woods Cross man was sent to prison Monday after pleading guilty to punching a man during an argument in a hotel that led to his death.

Ross Alan Letham, 31, was sentenced to a term of zero to five years at a Utah state prison after pleading guilty on June 27 to one count of criminal homicide by assault, a third-degree felony. Letham was originally charged second-degree felony manslaughter, but pleaded guilty to the lesser offense as part of a plea agreement.

The court also recommended that Letham be given credit for time served in jail, but that decision would ultimately be made by the Utah Board of Pardons.

On March 4, police were called to the Intown Suites located at 635 S. 700 West in Woods Cross, according to a probable cause statement. They found an unconscious man and took him to a nearby hospital before he was transferred to the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City. The man died the following day, according to charging documents.

Police quickly learned that the suspect, Letham, had ran from the hotel following the assault.

Investigators learned that the assault began in the hallway of the hotel, as the victim was talking on the phone in the hallway when Letham reportedly yelled at the victim and told him to keep it down. Later, Letham and the victim were in the back of the hotel where Letham threatened to fight the victim.

At some point, Letham threw a punch at the victim, knocking him unconscious.

Letham was reportedly staying at the hotel with his girlfriend at the time of the assault. The woman allegedly told Letham to run after the punch was thrown, but would not tell police any other details of the attack, according to charging documents.

Letham told police that he left the hotel to get cigarettes and returned to find police throughout the area.

A family member of the victim was given a photo lineup by police and identified Letham as the suspect. Another witness identified Letham through surveillance video as being involved with the fight.

The identity of the man killed was not available in charging documents or court records as of Wednesday afternoon.

Letham is being held at the Davis County Jail and will be transferred to the Utah Department of Corrections to begin his prison term.

Jacob Scholl is the Cops and Courts Reporter for the Standard-Examiner. Email him at jscholl@standard.net and follow him on Twitter at @Jacob_Scholl.

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