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Murder rare now in Carbon County,but it wasn't always so

Sun Advocate publisher

The murder that took place in Carbonville on Sunday night is at this time the last in a long line of homicides that have taken place over the years in Carbon County.

However, the rate of murder in the area has dropped dramatically from what it was before 1980. Going back in the the 1940s and before, the murder rate for the area showed multiple killings almost every year. In recent years there has hardly been any murders, but suicide has grown, unfortunately.

The last death that was caused by one person on another took place at the Price Canyon Recreation Area in Price Canyon on Aug. 7, 2009 when it was reported that a man had stopped breathing at the site. When police investigated they found a group of five people had become involved in an argument and one of the people walked away from the group and reportedly hitch hiked up Highway 6 toward Provo. The others continued the argument after he left and all but one decided to get in a car and leave. The holdout wouldn't get in so one of the men in the car got out and forced him to the ground and put a hold on him. This apparently led to the man's death, but was not regarded as murder. Instead the man later pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

On July 7, 2008, a 78-year-old man got into an argument with a 31-year-old woman in Helper and tried to shoot her. He instead shot her in the hand as they struggled over the gun and he ran to his car and drove away. Later his car was spotted on Spring Glen Road and police surrounded the car. The man committed suicide before they could talk him out of the vehicle.

The last murder to take place in the county happened in April of 2006, but it was on the border with Emery County south of Columbia. A man was arrested for murder in the killing of his girlfriend. He had attempted to commit suicide after he did it but his brothers stopped him. He was later convicted of first degree murder and sent to prison.

In the area the highest profile murder in the past few years was the 2009 double slaying of William and Charmaine Sharp in Castle Dale by their son. He was later picked up walking down the street. He was later sent to the Utah State Hospital because of mental deficiency.

In addition, vehicular homicide has been initiated in a few cases, and two within the county are pending based on incidents that took place a few weeks ago.

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