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PARAMEDIC RECOMMENDED ARREST OF KASTANIS

A paramedic among the first to respond to the gruesome scene of four bludgeoned bodies said he recommended to officers there that Sam Kastanis be arrested.

Salt Lake County firefighter Paul Kay said Kastanis led him down the stairs of his West Jordan home seconds after Kay arrived. "He said, `I think they've killed themselves,' Kay said.But after checking to see if there was any hope of reviving Margaret Kastanis, 39, and the two young daughters lying near her, Kay approached West Jordan police officer Mike Nunnelley.

"I told the officer that he should consider placing Mr. Kastanis under arrest because I did not believe it was a suicide," Kay testified.

Margaret Kastanis had been stabbed three times in her left chest.

"My justification that it was not a suicide is because of the number of wounds to Mrs. Kastanis' chest," he said. "I've never seen anyone (suicide victim) inflict more than one stab wound to the chest."

Kay admitted under cross-examination, however, that he did not know the depth of the wounds. The testimony came during the second day of a preliminary hearing for Kastanis, who is charged with four counts of capital murder for the Nov. 17 deaths of his wife and three children.

In taped recordings played in court Tuesday and Wednesday, Kastanis told police investigators he believed his wife, who he said was suffering mental problems, "flipped out" and killed his three children and then herself.

FBI serologist Robert Spalding said tests identified blood on the jacket and blue jeans Kastanis was wearing that day as likely belonging to the victims.

Although not readily visible, blood covered the front of the windbreaker-type jacket Kastanis had been wearing. Blood particles were found all over the front of the jacket, the cuffs and one sleeve in addition to the obvious, darker bloodstains.

One of the bloodstains on the front of the jacket, which prosecutors said appears to be in the shape of a hand, could have been made by either Melissa Kastanis, 11, or Christine Kastanis, 6, Spalding said.

Blood on the right knee of Kastanis' blue jeans corresponded to blood from Clinton Kastanis, 9, and blood on the left knee was from his wife, the FBI agent said.

Spalding indicated that the mist of blood could have gotten on the jacket if the person wearing it brushed up lightly against the blood. Prosecutors contend the blood traces could mean Kastanis was in close vicinity to the victims when they were killed.

Kastanis told detectives in taped interviews that his wife had told him he should divorce her, but Kastanis did not want a divorce.

"I told her `I love you, Margaret. I love you. I don't want to get a divorce. I don't want to have the kids. What am I going to do with the kids? What am I going to do, I can't live without you. We've been married for 13 years. We've been happy.' And that's all. I'm telling the truth. That's the whole truth," Kastanis told a detective that day.

"But why do you think that Margaret could do that?" West Jordan Police detective Robert Shober asked.

"I don't. I think she wasn't all there. She told me a lot of times she wasn't getting better," Kastanis replied.

"So do you honestly feel that she's the one that killed the kids?"

"Yes, I think."

Moments before in the interview, Kastanis reiterated his innocence. "That's the whole truth. The whole truth. I did not kill my family. I did not use a hammer on them. I did not use a knife. No way. I've been framed. I've been framed."