St. George man arrested for aggravated kidnapping, assault in domestic violence incident

Image by Brett Barrett, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – A St. George man was arrested Wednesday on felony counts of aggravated assault and kidnapping related to a domestic violence incident.

St. George Police Sgt. Sam Despain said the police initially responded to a call concerning a family fight Wednesday morning involving Shinobu Koja, 24, of St. George,  and his future ex-wife. The fight ultimately involved several criminal offences and led to Koja’s arrest.

According to the probable cause statement filed today, Koja allegedly called his “future ex-wife” around 2 a.m. Wednesday and told her there was a family emergency at his home that required her attention. Once at the residence, she discovered Koja lied about the emergency. He demanded sex which the victim refused. She then attempted to leave and was physically restrained by Koja. According to the statement, she was able to break free and leave the residence after making enough noise to catch the attention of a witness at the home.

Devin Koja | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department
Devin Koja | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department

Later that morning Koja went to the parking lot of the residence where the victim currently resides and located her SUV. Having access to the vehicle, he went inside and hid in the rear of the SUV. The victim got into the vehicle and, after she left the residential complex, Koja climbed over the seat and put her in a chokehold. He also produced what the statement refers to as “a large kitchen knife” and put it to her throat while telling her to be quiet. Sometime during the incident he also took her cellular phone so she couldn’t call for help. At some point, though she sustained cuts to fingers on her left hand, she was able to flee the vehicle.

After the victim escaped, Koja took the SUV and the victim’s cellular phone home with him. According to the probable cause statement the phone and keys to the victim’s vehicle were found at Koja’s home.

Koja was arrested and booked into jail on Wednesday and made an initial appearance in Fifth District Court Thursday via video feed.

He is charged by the state with domestic violence-related first-degree felony aggravated robbery; first-degree felony aggravated kidnapping; third-degree felony aggravated assault; and various class B misdemeanors involving interfering with an emergency call, violence in the presence of a child, unlawful detention and simple assault.

Bail has been set at $100,000. Koja’s next court appearance is scheduled for May 28 at 2:30 p.m.

Ed. Note: Persons charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact. As official charges have been brought against the individual in this case, his name and image have been included in this article.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

Image by Brett Barrett, St. George News
Image by Brett Barrett, St. George News

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22 Comments

  • My Evil Twin May 23, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    How about that! You all actually published a NAME and a PICTURE of one of these folks that have been arrested. Is this a change in policy? Or is there a “darker” reason here?
    I sincerely hope it is a policy change.

  • Mean momma May 24, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Why not go ahead and add attempted rape to his list of charges? SCUMBAG!

  • A Friend May 24, 2013 at 10:25 am

    How about you add that his wife was cheating on him and treated him like dirt? He couldnt take anymore! Any one who knows Devin, knows that this is not who he is

    • DoubleTap May 24, 2013 at 10:57 am

      If his wife was cheating and treated him like dirt, and couldn’t take anymore….he should have just separated/divorced her and not take matters into his own hands. Kidnapping, aggrevated assault and holding a knife to someones throat is not the way to go about it. attempting to force her into sex is not going to fix things. This guy should get the book thrown at him. He is not a juvenile…he is an adult and should be responsible for his actions….wife cheating or not.

    • A Friend May 24, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      How he handled it was not right. I agree! But he is not the horrible person that they are making him out to be. We have known him since he was a teenager. He just couldnt take anymore. He would never hurt anyone

  • Another friend May 24, 2013 at 11:04 am

    While I can’t excuse his actions, his wife ruined his life- as someone who knew Devin for the last 6 years, he could never hurt anyone. He did nothing but support his family and was the best dad I’ve ever seen. His wife cheated on him for years and walked all over him. Not to mention she used him to get citizenship. She is a terrible person and should be the one sitting in a jail cell.

  • Another friend May 24, 2013 at 11:37 am

    This is the 3rd different version published of what happened. The other two omit the sex part and it is all just hearsay until facts are gathered. Regardless, like I said he shouldn’t have done what he did, but those of us who know the couple very well know who is really at fault and what drove him to this. If he needed character witnessed there would be hundreds of people ready to testify on how great of a person Devin is. So sad.

  • My Evil Twin May 24, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Right. Try to turn the blame around, to blame the victim. You should be a lawyer.

  • My Evil Twin May 24, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    I am still wanting to know why they published this guys name and picture when they have not done so on most of the folks who are arrested here.
    HOW ABOUT IT SG NEWS?

  • optimismalways May 24, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Wait so let me get this right: Say I’m in a situation like this and If I’m married to someone and I “cheat and ruin his life” or “walk out on him”, and he attacks me in rage, it’s MY FAULT?? GET REAL!! The guy flies off the handle and tries to rape his wife, kidnaps her by hiding in her car and holding a knife to her throat and it’s HER FAULT?? Character witnesses or not, this guy made his choices and acted out of rage and hurt. Whether or not he WOULD hurt anyone isn’t an issue at this point… he already did! Don’t blame her for HIS ACTIONS….. he chose to do what he did.

  • Concerned friend May 25, 2013 at 10:27 am

    I am so glad nobody here is in charge of the final judgment in life. Everyone would rot in hell if that were the case. People act up not because they’re weak, but because they’ve been strong for too long. Nobody cares to try to understand that, nobody tries to notice the hidden burdens that eat away at each one of us day in and day out. You hypocrites are so self absorbed and do nothing to try to help and assist others who hurt so badly and need a shoulder to lean on, and then you blame them for falling. Don’t judge Devin because he sins differently than you do. What if this was your dad, or brother, or best friend? Would you be so quick to call him a scumbag, or to demand to “have the book thrown at him”? You’re probably thinking, “they would never do something like this,” which is exactly what everyone would have said about Devin, those who know him. Yes his actions were stupid. Yes it was wrong. But don’t sit there behind your computers acting like you’ve lived a perfect life. We’re all imperfect and have no place to condemn, justify, or excuse what has been done, so keep your stones to yourselves and stop casting them at those who are no more blemished than yourselves.

    • Another friend May 25, 2013 at 11:17 am

      Well said.

  • Joe May 25, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    We are st george and this town has nothing better to report than fabricated lies.I dont believe for one second that Devin did all those things,women lie and hurt themselves just to play the victim and get what they want out of a man.No one has the right to condemmed a man based on a simple report alone,its like no one gives a damm about the other side of the story.

  • sweet jude May 25, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Everyone likes to play the victim card when they get their hands caught in the cookie jar. You call yourselves “friends ” but a true friend will not under any circumstance, excuse in any way their friends reckless behavior. A true friend, on the other hand, would work with all their might to correct him and bring him back. The rest is hollow, shallow, empty..

    • Cameron May 29, 2013 at 1:39 am

      Ok, you guys are seriously starting to irk me. I’m going to assume YOUR friends are all perfect because you’re the true friend that ‘works with all your might’ to correct any and all incorrect behavior in their life, am I right? And if that’s the case then you must be perfect, because an imperfect being can’t show another how to be perfect. Wait, that can’t be right because last time I checked, we’re all imperfect so maybe you should start worrying more about how good of a friend and/or parent you are yourself! Also, last time I checked, I don’t think anybody has excused anything. Last time I checked, this guy is sitting in prison with a monster bail and good amount of prison time ahead of him, so don’t you think the message about needing correction is being conveyed already? I don’t think we friends need to emphasize that anymore. I think at this point, especially with a GOOD guy like Devin, messages of hope and forgiveness need to be conveyed. He needs to know that there is recovery possible from this mistake; that this isn’t irreparable. He should be reminded that his Oldest Brother suffered and atoned for these very kinds of life experiences so that in the end we can all be reconciled with God again if we just decide to turn toward and follow Him. There is no hole, or prison cell, or prison sentence that is out of God’s reach. Nobody is excusing anything, but mercy exists because of God’s sacrifice. If that weren’t the case then we can all sit here and tell Devin that he needs to pay the price of justice and go to the very hell that all of us would be heading towards ourselves.

  • -Mike- May 27, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    If she drove him to this, it sounds like he should have left her a long time ago. If all of you “friends” knew she was such a bad person, why didn’t you help your friend out of a bad situation?

  • His mommy May 27, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    I want to say Thank You to all the friends of Devin who believe in him. Your support is greatly appreciated!

    • Sweet Jude May 28, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      It’s so sad, too bad that some parents let their children do as they please without ever holding them account for their actions. Moreover, this man’s (or teenager’s) so-called “friends” help to reinforce the deceptions that some people are good and the rest are bad. Parents need a serious wake up call if there will even be a glimmer of hope for the rising generation. Praise is good, but when there is only praise and no correction, parents have blatantly erred. The only way for a teen in his predicament to have any ray of hope would be to buy a set of permanent earplugs so he can block out all these deceptive voices in his life.

      • His mommy May 28, 2013 at 4:02 pm

        Are you God? If not, Then you have no right to judge me and my parenting skills. Please keep your opinion to yourself for you do not know me or my son.

      • Cameron May 29, 2013 at 2:00 am

        I just want to point out that The Perfect Parent (Heavenly Father) Himself had a child go astray (Lucifer) which fact proves that your blaming all this on ‘parenting’ makes you pretty ignorant. I guess I could be wrong though, maybe you have in fact come up with a perfect method of parenting/befriending that prevents mistakes. If that’s the case then please set up a course for all of us to take so we can learn and I’ll be sure to invite God time out of His busy schedule for a lesson or two.

    • Cameron May 29, 2013 at 1:49 am

      Thank YOU for blessing our lives with a person such as Devin. He has helped and supported me so much personally at work and on a personal level. I just hope I can return even a fraction of the support that he’s given me just in this past year alone. Please let me or any of us know if there is anything we can do to help in any way. Our thoughts and prayers are with you guys!

  • Sweet Jude May 28, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    I’m not God, neither do I judge you or your son. To judge means to condemn. But this I do know – your son needs to learn taking some serious responsibilities. This is aside from playing the blame game. Who did this or that will be laid out in court. But until you, your son, or your son’s so-called friends learn to step up to the plate, you will all be found guilty in due time. God will be the ultimate judge, I leave that up to him. Many parents are like you.

Comments are closed.