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FACIAL WOUNDS ON VICTIM LINKED TO SHOES, HAMMER

SHARE FACIAL WOUNDS ON VICTIM LINKED TO SHOES, HAMMER

The circular, rectangular and square wounds on Chester Denn's face indicate his killer likely stomped on him with tennis shoes, an assistant medical examiner testified Thursday.

Other injuries to the man's head and neck may have been caused by a carpenter's hammer and a pry bar, said Dr. Maureen Frikke.Gary Dean Rafferty, 36, was ordered to stand trial for the murder of his roommate. He was also bound over to district court on a charge of attempting to kill a deputy sheriff.

Rafferty pleaded not guilty to the charges and will appear before 3rd District Judge Michael Murphy Jan. 31.

Debra Denn, the victim's ex-wife, got a phone call from Rafferty at 2 a.m. Nov. 28.

"He said, `Chet's dead. We had a fight and I guess he fell down and stopped breathing,' " Debra Denn testified.

Hours earlier, a distraught Rafferty knocked on the windows and door of his parents' house. "He was very incoherent. He had obviously been drinking. He was highly upset," said his father, Wally Rafferty.

Rafferty asked his parents if he could store some of his belongings at their home because he was leaving town.

"Finally, I got out of him that he had had a serious fight with Chester," Wally Rafferty said.

Rafferty's parents told him they were going to go to the house and check on Denn. Rafferty told them not to go, but they did. Denn's body was on the living room floor of his Millcreek home, 3121 S. 800 East.

Salt Lake County sheriff's detective Ben Forbes described many bloodstains in the front yard of the home and said the fight likely began on the sidewalk outside. "I would say the victim was dragged from that area into the home," Forbes said.

Frikke also testified of drag marks on Denn's lower back that are consistent with being dragged across concrete. She said she believes the dragging occurred after Denn was already dead or just before he died because the wounds had little bleeding.

Debra Denn said her ex-husband and Rafferty had "typical roommate problems" about money and cleanliness, "but nothing physical."

Rafferty was arrested the same day after a 10-minute chase with deputy sheriffs. Deputies had staked out his parents' home and when he returned, they tried to arrest him and he fled in his car.

Once the chase began, deputy Frank Ziebert set up a roadblock on Highland Drive and saw Raf-ferty's vehicle heading toward him. Ziebert drew his gun, pulled out his flashlight and stood behind his vehicle.

"It appeared to me the vehicle being chased was going to ram my vehicle . . . and put my police car in my lap," Ziebert said.

The deputy said he then moved in front of his patrol car as Rafferty approached. "I was looking at him right in the eyes and he was looking at me," Ziebert said. "At the last second, he turned toward the open area and headed directly at me."

Ziebert said he jumped out of the way just before Rafferty zoomed past him. Officers later stopped Rafferty's car, but not before he backed it into a sheriff's patrol car.