Victim of LaVerkin assault remains on life support

LAVERKIN –The victim of an aggravated assault remains on life support at University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, pending family decisions.

Two guys got intoxicated and got into a conflict,” LaVerkin Police Chief Lloyd Watkins said.

Donald George Loomer, 64, suffered an assault by John Stettler Stucki, 54, at a residence where Stucki was staying in LaVerkin Tuesday night, Watkins said.

The chief described Stucki as a homeless person who gets people to allow him to do things like yard work and rolls from place to place.

Loomer’s identification is out of Arizona but he apparently has been living in Hurricane for awhile, Watkins said. Loomer and Stukci also appear to have known each other.

Mr. Stucki was very intoxicated,” Watkins said, and that he was not sure what level of intoxication Loomer was at because they have not yet received the results of any texts concerning the matter.

We’re making the assumption (Loomer was also intoxicated) based on previous history, containers in the area,” Watkins said.

According to a probable cause statement, Stucki called 911 after he and Loomer were involved in a fight. The responding officer found Loomer unconscious and noted he had sustained “massive head trauma.” Stucki also had visible injuries. Both men were taken to Dixie Regional Medical Center. From there Life Flight took Loomer to University Medical Center in Las Vegas.

Stucki initially denied knowing Loomer and told police his own injures were caused by gang members from Iron County. However, when shown possible evidence to the contrary that police had gathered, Stucki admitted the he and Loomer had been in a fight. Loomer had hit Stucki in the side of the face with a coffee cup. In response, Stucki hit Loomer in the back of the head with a branch roughly the size of a two-by-four.

Stucki was arrested and booked into Washington County’s Purgatory Correctional Facility at 11:38 p.m. on Tuesday. The arresting officer consulted with a deputy county attorney between 1 and 2 a.m. on charges.

Given their understanding that Loomer’s death was imminent, according to a doctor at UMC, Stucki was first booked on a charge of aggravated murder along with related charges.

Essentially what happened is that the hospital said death was imminent, and (the officer) called the county attorney at about 1-in-the-morning,” Watkins said.

When the victim was still alive the next morning, the primary charge was amended to aggravated assault with intent to cause death or bodily harm.

At 12:45 p.m. Thursday, Loomer remains on life support, Watkins said, but there is no brain activity. His family has been notified and is making decisions for his medical care.

It is anticipated that, upon Loomer’s death, the charge against Stucki will again be amended to include homicide by assault; that is, Watkins said, he was assaulted with enough force that the normal person could be killed or suffer serious bodily injury.

St. George News Assistant Editor Mori Kessler contributed to this story.

Email: jkuzmanic@stgnews.com

Twitter:  @JoyceKuzmanic

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

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