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Police make fifth arrest in slaying of S.L. woman

Todd Allen
Todd Allen

A fifth arrest was made Thursday night in connection with the shooting death of a pregnant woman at a downtown Salt Lake City motel.

In addition, new information was revealed Friday that the intended victims may have returned fire on their alleged assailants.

Todd Allen, 20, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of homicide and two counts of aggravated robbery in connection with the death of Darla Woundedhead.

"We developed information through our homicide detectives that led us to him," Salt Lake City police detective Dwayne Baird said without going into detail.

Woundedhead was shot in the chest Aug. 18 about 1 a.m. in the doorway of a room at the Dream Inn motel, 1865 W. North Temple. She died shortly after arriving at LDS Hospital.

Doctors delivered Woundedhead's infant girl two months prematurely by emergency c-section. The state has temporarily taken custody of the infant girl. She was born with cocaine, opiates and barbiturates in her bloodstream and is suffering from probable brain damage due to lack of oxygen.

The infant's father was identified last week.

At the time of the incident, police said multiple shots had been fired at the crime scene.

Baird said Allen was shot in the leg at the hotel. A probable cause booking statement from the Salt Lake County Jail said Allen went to LDS Hospital about 1:38 a.m. on Aug. 18 to be treated for a gunshot wound.

The bullet removed from his leg was consistent with the caliber of gun used to return fire at the motel, according to the statement. One of the witnesses also told police that they believed one of the suspects had been shot in the leg and buttocks.

Allen reportedly told doctors that he and his sister were walking in the area of 3500 South and 2700 West when they were shot by some gang members, said West Valley police Capt. Steve Sandquist.

West Valley police eventually determined the story was false and then provided information to Salt Lake City police to help them with their case once they learned Allen was a suspect in the motel shooting, he said.

Allen is the fifth person to be arrested for homicide in connection with Woundedhead's death.

Robert Everett Collins, 18; his half-brother, Lawrence Clint Valdez, 24; Kerri Armant, 32; and Andrea Martinez, 18, have already been arrested and charged in 3rd District Court. They made a brief appearance in court earlier this week. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Dec. 9.


E-mail: preavy@desnews.com