OGDEN — An Ogden judge has appointed an experienced death penalty attorney to represent a homeless man who police say went on a murderous stabbing spree in a Riverdale transient camp June 30.
David Keith Wade, 48, is accused of stabbing one man 16 times, another man 8 times, and trying to stab a third man, who fended him off by hitting him on the head with a pipe.
The victims were homeless, camping in a secluded area behind a Lowe’s hardware store and a Rocky Mountain Power substation at about 300 Pacific Ave., police said.
The first victim, Kyle Wolf, 26, died that night and the second suffered critical injuries.
Riverdale Police Lt. Casey Warren said Thursday the second victim, also in his 20s, “is going to have some permanent, substantial injuries that he’s still recovering from.”
Judge Jennifer Valencia signed an order Tuesday certifying attorney Grant Morrison of Taylorsville to represent Wade, who was arrested near the camp a short time after the stabbings.
Morrison has experience in Rule 8 proceedings, aggravated murder cases that are elevated to death penalty prosecutions.
The Weber County Attorney’s Office has not filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty, but it has until 60 days after the defendant’s arraignment to do so. Wade has not yet had a preliminary hearing.
Indigent defendants are provided legal representation by the county, which contracts with defense attorneys to provide the services.
Wade is charged with aggravated murder and attempted murder, both first-degree felonies; aggravated assault, a third-degree felony; and use of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, also a third-degree felony.
Wade has been held without bail at the Weber County Jail since his arrest.
The County Attorney’s Office said Wade served prison time in California for assault with a deadly weapon and has a criminal record in four states.
Wade was charged with aggravated assault in Salt Lake County for allegedly stabbing a woman two years ago, but the case was dismissed when the victim did not show up for a court hearing.
In a declaration filed with the court earlier this week, Morrison outlined his experience in capital cases.
He said he represented Addam Swapp, a polygamist who killed a Utah Department of Corrections officer during a standoff in 1988; a defendant in the 1996 Woods Cross Motel 6 murder case; a defendant in the 1998 Straight Edge gang murder in Salt Lake City; and self-proclaimed prophet Ron Lafferty, who killed his sister-in-law and her child in 1984 and died in prison last year.
Wade’s next court hearing is Sept. 9.