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Slaying suspect kills self

Police find tape in car outlining last 24 hours

SHARE Slaying suspect kills self

HELPER — The man police believe killed another man in a Murray parking lot by shooting and running him over committed suicide Monday night following a four-hour standoff here with officers.

Kent D. Kettle, 36, died at University Hospital at 2:12 a.m. Tuesday from a gunshot wound to the head. He was accused of killing Ike T. Johnson, 45, Monday morning near 5600 South and 900 East.

Although police had not released a motive for the slaying early Tuesday, Price Police Lt. Ed Shook said an audiotape made by Kettle was found in his car that outlined the events of the past 24 hours. Shook would not say Tuesday whether Kettle left a confession to the killing on the tape.

Kettle's ex-wife lives in the Stillwater Apartments, 5600 S. Vine St., where Kettle fired at least eight rounds at Johnson Monday morning, striking Johnson's car several times.

Kettle's ex-wife had filed a protective order against Kettle in January.

Following a short chase, Johnson got out of his car and ran 200 yards across the parking lot of a strip mall before allegedly being shot and run down.

After the slaying, Kettle called his ex-wife several times throughout the day to verbally victimize her again, said Murray detective Rob Hall. The ex-wife worked with police to help track Kettle down, Hall said.

Officers recovered the vehicle believed to have been used to run down Johnson at a hotel in Payson, Hall said. Kettle, who has family in that area, continued driving in a white Pontiac Gran Am that belonged to him, Hall said.

Just after 7 p.m., an officer spotted Kettle's car on U.S. 6 in Price.

After calling for backup, the officers began chasing Kettle's vehicle, Shook said. Just outside of Helper, the tires on Kettle's car were spiked.

For the next four hours, police from several agencies, including a SWAT team from Salt Lake City, were in a standoff with Kettle.

Several times during the standoff Kettle pointed his gun at himself and in the direction of officers, Shook said. Most of the time, however, Kettle made obscene hand gestures to officers, he said.

At times he was very animated, Shook said. He moved around in his seat and waved his gun a lot as if he were in a state of anxiety, he said.

"It's almost like he was trying to talk himself into what he ultimately did do," Shook said.

Police were continuing to negotiate with Kettle when he pulled the trigger, Shook said. He was flown by medical helicopter to University Hospital where he died.

In addition to the tape, police also found a 9 mm pistol inside the car with an extra loaded clip.

E-MAIL: preavy@desnews.com