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Eagle Mountain man killed in alleged domestic dispute

EAGLE MOUNTAIN — A father of four was killed in his home late Friday, and his wife was questioned about the incident.

Tiana Hitesman called police just before 10 p.m., saying she had shot her husband, according to Utah County Sheriff Lt. Erik Knutzen. He said officers arrived at the home, located at 4125 E. Parkers Place, where officers found Elwin Dale Hitesman, 33, deceased on the living room floor.

Two shots were fired from a revolver, both of which struck the man, Knutzen said.

"We believe she was the shooter," Knutzen said. "She did indicate it appeared to be a domestic violence type situation, (and it) appeared there was probably a physical altercation that took place between her and her husband that night before the shots were fired."

The couple's four children, ages 1 through 9, were in the home at the time of the incident, but were sleeping. Knutzen said officers had to wake some of the children after they arrived. Tiana Hitesman, 31, exited the home with her hands up, was questioned by investigators and later released.

Knutzen said officers didn't believe the woman was a threat and didn't think she would flee.

"We believe the kids are safe," he said, adding that there has been a history of domestic violence at the home, with Elwin Dale Hitesman having been arrested and/or charged a number of times for various incidents.

Knutzen said it wasn't clear whether Tiana Hitesman had been attacked, but "based on what she said, there is some indication that it was self defense." He said the woman "has been very cooperative" and did not appear to have any injuries.

The investigation is ongoing and police are waiting for results of an autopsy to determine the official cause of death.

Knutzen said police will seek help from the Utah County Children's Justice Center to interview the children about the situation at the home. He did not know if charges would be filed.

Family members declined to be interviewed, but said there's more to the story.

Police records indicate Dale Hitesman was arrested on Jan. 31 for investigation of domestic violence assault and unlawful detention. Tiana Hitesman told authorities then that she didn't want her husband to be arrested because she didn't want him to lose his job, according to a probable cause statement.

A search of court records also shows he pleaded guilty to several misdemeanor charges dating back to 2000, including simple assault, criminal mischief, public intoxication, alcohol- and drug-related reckless driving, and other traffic violations.

Contributing: Sandra Yi

Email: wleonard@deseretnews.com, Twitter: wendyleonards