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Man suspected in slaying attempts suicide

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TOOELE — A man facing aggravated murder charges in the June slaying of his wife unsuccessfully attempted suicide in the Tooele County Jail Saturday.

Charles L. Miller, 50, Erda, Tooele County, has been on suicide watch for the past week after frequently attempting to hurt himself, Tooele County Sheriff Frank Scharmann said.

Saturday, during the hour Miller is allowed to exercise, he made his way to the jail's second tier and threatened to jump off, Scharmann said. Using a bed sheet, Miller fashioned a noose around his neck, tying the other end to the railing.

Miller sat on the roost for three hours as sheriff's officers attempted to talk him down. Around 4 p.m. Miller jumped but the sheet gave way and he landed on his head.

He was airlifted to University Hospital where he was upgraded to serious condition Saturday night. Scharmann said his department is looking to place Miller in a larger county jail that is more suitable for handling the inmate's emotional problems.

Miller's wife, Sharon, 39, was injured when her sports-utility vehicle was broadsided and tipped on its side. Charles Miller is accused of driving the vehicle that broadsided hers and of using a screwdriver to stab her in the neck and abdomen at the scene. She died June 5 from the injuries.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty because they believe Miller aggressively interfered with justice — he allegedly killed his wife after she filed a protective order against him in 3rd District Court. She was driving away from the courthouse when the attack occurred.