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South Salt Lake man accused of stabbing friend to death

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A South Salt Lake police officer interviews a bystander at the scene of a stabbing in South Salt Lake on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. A 70-year-old suspect is in custody after a person was found dead inside an apartment at 2880 S. 200 East.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

SOUTH SALT LAKE — A man who police say has a history of mental illness is accused of stabbing a man to death Wednesday.

Edward Jay Kennedy, 69, of South Salt Lake, was arrested for investigation of murder and aggravated assault.

The victim was identified Wednesday night as 27-year-old Riley Nagle. South Salt Lake police spokeswoman Danielle Croyle said investigators believe he may be a friend of the suspect who went to the man’s apartment Tuesday night to help him.

Police were notified about 6:10 a.m. of a possible assault at Kennedy’s apartment at 2880 S. 200 East after Kennedy told a neighbor he had stabbed his friend, according to Croyle.

In an affidavit filed in 3rd District Court supporting the arrest, officers said Kennedy “made a spontaneous statement that he was the one that stabbed the guy.” Officers entered the apartment and found a man “who’d been stabbed in the chest,” the affidavit said.

Officers administered first aid, as did paramedic firefighters, who arrived shortly after, but the victim was declared dead at the scene, according to the affidavit.

Croyle said Kennedy had called a friend Tuesday night saying he was mentally unstable and needed support. Police believe the man went to Kennedy’s apartment to talk to him.

Kennedy has a lengthy history of intoxication and disorderly conduct cases, according to court records. Most recently, he was charged last month with intoxication and disorderly conduct in South Salt Lake Justice Court, and assault and intoxication in Murray Justice Court in March.

According to court documents, his charges from August were for yelling and threatening people in the parking lot of his apartment complex while intoxicated. The March charge alleges he assaulted a man at a Motel 6 while intoxicated.

His March court case has been delayed several times, however, due to COVID-19 restrictions, court records state.

In 2009 he was convicted of aggravated assault in Washington County and was ordered to serve a one-to-15-year sentence in the Utah State Prison.