Arizona charges 3 defendants in Heisler kidnapping with first-degree murder

Francis Lee McCard, Kelley Marie Perry and Tammy Freeman have been arrested in the alleged assault and kidnapping of 30-year-old David Heisler, booking photos posted July 2016 | Photos courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Three defendants believed to be involved in the kidnapping and death of David Heisler are now facing first-degree murder charges in the state of Arizona in addition to the charges they each face in Utah.

In addition to the murder charge, Kelley Marie Perry, 32, Francis Lee McCard, 56, and Tammy Renee Freeman, 54, have been charged with class 2 felony kidnapping, according to a criminal complaint filed by Arizona prosecutors Friday in North Canyon Justice Court.

Perry, McCard and Freeman are currently being held at the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility in Utah on charges of first-degree felony aggravated kidnapping, first-degree felony aggravated burglary and second-degree felony theft.

The three suspects, arrested separately in July 2016, have been jailed pending trial as Washington County prosecutors await word on a possible federal indictment being sought in the case due to the suspects crossing from one state to another during the commission of the crime.

The three defendants are suspected of kidnapping David Heisler on June 27 resulting in his death after they transported Heisler from Utah to a desolate area in Arizona where he was either killed or left to die in the extreme heat after allegedly being assaulted.

The defendants can be charged in each state where an essential part of the crime has been committed – meaning authorities in each affected state can prosecute a crime that stretches from one territory to another.

The double jeopardy prohibition doesn’t apply to separate “sovereigns,” making it possible that multiple states as well as the federal government can prosecute a defendant for a single course of conduct.

Capital punishment is a legal penalty in the state of Arizona for “murder committed in an especially heinous, cruel or depraved manner.” However, it is unclear whether Arizona prosecutors will pursue the death penalty in this case.

If the prosecution seeks the death penalty, the sentence is decided by a jury and must be unanimous.

Thirty-seven men convicted of murder in Arizona have been executed at Arizona’s Florence State Prison since 1992. There are currently 125 death row inmates in Arizona including two women. The method of execution employed in Arizona is lethal injection.


Read more: Defendant in David Heisler kidnapping case to be federally indicted; death penalty on table


Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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5 Comments

  • Rob83 April 17, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Karma, gotta love karma. Arizona is an awesome state.

  • comments April 17, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    It really is a sad case. At some point you’d think this crew would’ve said to themselves “hey I think we’ve gone far enough here, let’s cut this out”, but meth is such a powerful poison that they probably had lost any sense of reason. Now these meth heads will be going away for a long time–maybe for life. There were no winners with the choices they made.

  • ladybugavenger April 17, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    They deserve to be caged like animals for life. Maybe in their future, they can start a bible study class in prison

  • utahdiablo April 17, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    If they were here Utah and FLDS they’d let them off with a slap on the wrist and a $100 fine

  • 42214 April 18, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    If one of those two ladies is a great piano player they have a great shot for Miss St George.

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