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Woman charged with attacking random customer at Millcreek store, killing her

The Scott M. Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City is pictured on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020.
The Scott M. Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City is pictured on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020.
Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

MILLCREEK — A woman with prior mental health issues who allegedly told investigators she “lost it” has been charged with attacking a customer in a Millcreek store and killing the woman.

Cashell Kelly Carr, 45, was charged Monday in 3rd District Court with homicide by assault and criminal mischief, both third-degree felonies.

On July 11, Unified police were called to Felt Lighting, 1220 E. 3300 South, on a report of an assault.

Employees told investigators that Carr entered the store pushing a wheelchair, and then laid down on a rug inside the front of the store, according to charging documents. An employee gave Carr water to help her.

“Shortly thereafter, Carr got off the ground and began hitting her (15-year-old) son ... who is nonambulatory/nonverbal autistic,” the charges state.

She hit the boy two to three times when employees asked her to stop. Carr then became angry and “threw the water bottle to the ground and started pushing lamps and store property, causing over $2,000 in damage,” according to the charges.

Carr then went to the service counter where a customer, Kathryn Johansen Wells, 65, was standing.

“Carr approached Ms. Wells and placed both of her hands on Ms. Wells and shoved her with extreme force. Ms. Wells landed approximately 9 feet from where she was standing at the counter. Ms. Wells was unable to move and was taken to Intermountain Medical Center, where X-rays revealed she had broken her pelvis in three different places,” the charges state.

Investigators say Wells’ health “deteriorated significantly” because of her injuries sustained by being shoved by Carr, and she died on July 31. An autopsy determined that “congestive heart failure exacerbation after a physical assault” was the main cause of death, according to charging documents.

“Because the blunt force injuries sustained in the physical assault were the underlying cause of the exacerbation, the manner of death was determined to be homicide,” the charges state.

Before she died, police were able to speak to Wells, who told them that she saw Carr approach her after breaking away from store employees who were trying to escort her out.

“She’s a big husky woman, and then she takes both of her hands, like she’s gonna shove somebody, and she shoved me with all of her power. And I just went flying. I mean, my feet were not touching the ground. I did not say a word to her, not a word, and she shoved me and I landed on the cement, tile floor,” Wells said, according to the charges.

Carr’s husband told investigators that his wife “is a bipolar/manic and had recently been hospitalized for mental health issues,” the charges state.

When interviewed by detectives, Carr said, “I just feel bad because I kind of lost it because I haven’t eaten for days ... and I’m probably in big trouble because I lost it,” according to the charges.

A no bail warrant was issued Monday for Carr’s arrest.